tomatoes are creepy.
allow me to lay down on your sofa + tell you the traumatizing tale of tomatoes + kelly maurine flynn.
growing up, my grandma had a cherry tomato garden. in the tomato-growing world, her garden was top notch. she laid beautiful stone pavers leading tomato-seekers back to her garden. she had handmade wooden signs all along the garden boasting the words “fresh tomatoes here!” + wooden cut-outs of jolly characterized tomatoes grinning from ear-to-ear. looking around the garden was always a treat.
once i grew old enough, grandma moved me from “looking” duty to “picking” duty.
this day, my friend, is when it all started.
i would walk down the stone pavers, picking-basket in hand, and just like that, tomatoes for tonight’s dinner salad were my sole responsibility. i would reach my tiny hands along the stalk of the plants + pluck the tomatoes right off. seems fun!? OH NO. sometimes they were squishy! some were red, but some were an angry red! sometimes a little ant would crawl up my finger to say ‘sucka!’ + sometimes the fragile ones would just burst right open!! it. was. gross.
after what i’m sure felt like hours in the garden on that first day of picking, i ran back to kitchen to show my grandma the bounty that, in my eyes, i had risked my life for.
in my world, drama was always necessary, so while covered in tomato guts, i cried to her about my horrible experience. now, grandma flynn is a sassy lady, she raised 7 crazy irish boys, so you can imagine that my tiny yelp for attention was nothing short of entertaining for her. as i stood before her + wiped the tears from my cheeks, she leant down + noticed – OH MY! i had hives all over my hands + face!
turns out summer heat, the acidity of tomatoes + my parchment irish skin just didn’t get along. needless to say, after the oatmeal bath, my picking days were over.
22 years later, not much has changed for me. tomatoes are still on the no fly list on my dinner plate. but i can handle slicing + dicing them in comfort of my no-sun-shining home. and one of the times you’ll see me braving the tomato-touching experience, is on taco night. i still don’t eat them (um. eww.) but since those i cook for love them so dearly, i will whip up this classic pico de gallo, as a true labor of love + tribute to the taco gods.
- 3 roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 jalapeños, seeded + finely minced
- ½ red onion, finely minced
- 1 lime, zested + juiced
- 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- finely dice your red onion. place into an ice bath for 15 minutes, to remove the bite from the onion.
- prepare and combine the rest of the ingredients.
- drain the red onion and add to the tomato mixture.
- cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (for best results let sit to combine for at least an hour)
to spice things up a bit, leave the seeds + ribs in the jalapeño!