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Apr 30, 2009

Beginners.

Today I thought about tomatoes. You know when you have one of those days when you simply have to eat something in particular. I went out to my vegetable patch this morning to see if there had been any progress with my tomato plants. Not much. They were still alive, green, and standing up. That's okay; it could be worse. Spring in Wenatchee is quite windy, so if you put out your store-bought plants too early, often they get blown over. But mine were fine, ever so slightly bigger than a couple of days ago. I can be patient. I planned my tomato crop carefully this year. Last year I grew several kinds of tomato plants from seed, and it was a disaster. The plants that grew the best were the Cherry tomatoes. They grew abundantly and everywhere. My children weren't keen on them. They gave some to the neighbors, threw some around the yard, and ended up playing tennis with them. My husband and I ate as many as we could, but we prefer the huge Beef tomatoes. They are not only huge, heavy and fleshy, but they also have a rich flavor. Eating one is like having a meal. I remember going to the open markets in Spain and buying kilos of these large, odd shaped vegetables, taking them home, cutting them in half, and eating them with salt. Mmm, I can't wait for Summer.

Grammar notes.

Vocabulary: vegetable patch, store-bought, to be keen on something, fleshy.

Exs:

Everyone in our neighborhood has a vegetable patch; we hardly need to go to the shops for food!

My brother is a carpenter. He doesn't like store-bought furniture, so he makes his own.

I'm really keen on gardening, but my favorite hobby is traveling.

Her baby is so fleshy! Look how chubby and cute he is!

Advanced.

My obsession with tomatoes led me to become creative in the kitchen. I think the good weather has made me reminisce about eating fabulous food in Spain. My mother 'invented' a recipe that is tomato based. We ate it often growing up in England. She is a spaniard, and so her cooking is very spanish. She uses garlic, onion, tomatoes, and red peppers as often as she can. Thank God for spanish mothers! It makes my mouth water, just thinking about her cooking. This recipe of hers is called 'Pisto'. If she is asked about it, she makes sure that you understand that it is spelled with an 'i'. "It's nothing to do with Italy. It's not Pesto," she will say. "Anyway, this kind of sauce could only come from Spain," she will add. She has every right to be proud of her creation. I even suggested to her that she market it. It would sell like hot cakes, I'm sure. You can use it as a pasta sauce, a dip (hot or cold), or a side dish for meat or fish. We could be rich and famous....or should we keep it as a family tradition, and pass the secret recipe down from generation to generation instead? Well, that's up to her; she's the boss. Anyway, I have had lots of practice making it, and tonight it turned out very well. I got the thumbs up from everyone at home. My kids even asked for seconds at the dinner table. It is made from onions, garlic, tomatoes, a little olive oil, and a few other things that I won't tell you. If you're not part of the family, then you're not privy to that all important information.

Grammar notes.

Common sayings: to sell like hot cakes; to be privy to ...,  to get the thumbs up.

Exs:

The new tennis shoes were so popular, they sold like hot cakes.

I don't know what will happen with the family's gold mine; I am not privy to that information.

The union worker got the thumbs up from everyone who heard his speech.