My name is Meg and I have two addictions. Citrus fruit and Johnston County tomatoes. I mean, it stands to reason that my addictions are food seeing how I'm a chef and all.
As far as citrus goes, tangerine and grapefruit make me weak. I can't stop. I'll take oranges or orange juice if I have no other choice, but man... tangerines. Grapefruit. That sweet, tangy, slightly bitter flavor makes everything better. If I keep juice around, I can't help but drink from the bottle every time I pass the fridge. Many a times I have brought home a jug of Simply Grapefruit and find it is gone within two days without ever having had a proper glass of it. It satisfies my soul in a way that nothing else can. Except for a Johnston County tomato.
I grew up in Pittsburgh and lived in Virginia for a while. I never liked tomatoes until I moved to North Carolina. Can you blame me? Good tomatoes were scare in Pittsburgh in the 70s. But now... I live about 2 minutes from the Johnston County line in the Old North State. Agriculture is a huge business here. I mean, just north of where I live is the largest chile pepper farm in NC, supplying nearly the whole state with hot peppers. Our three largest agricultural (food) exports from NC are watermelon, pigs and sweet potatoes. But I digress, back to My Precious. You haven't lived until you've had a German Johnson in mid-August. White bread, mayo, salt and pepper, thick slices of the pink, juicy, slightly oval fruit that's mostly meat and low on the snotty seedy pulpy bits. it's getting warmer now. The days are getting longer. Something inside me is stirring, making me cranky because it knows that I have to wait three more months. An eternity, really. Can I make it? I get sweaty and agitated just thinking about it. But the time will come when I can lay my hands on those tomatoes, my precious precious tomatoes. I'll slice them up, make my tomato sandwiches and scarf it down like a malnourished stray dog while standing at the counter. I'll eat as many sandwiches as it takes to finish that large tomato. Until I've gotten my fix. And them the cycle begins again. Dashing off to the farmer's market, a wad of one dollar bills in hand, spending an hour or two to find who has the best tomato for the best price.
I can quit anytime I want to. I just don't want to.