Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tomatomania! And more!

 We drove a big, beautiful circle yesterday. From Woodbury up through Bethlehem, and into Morris, to White Flower Farm, where a big crowd was enjoying the gardens and checking out the gazillion tomato varieties on sale. (Americans generally say, “Tomayto.” I certainly do. But as Cole Porter reminds us, a significant minority says “Tomahto.” We tomayto people generally feel the tomahto crowd are either putting on the dog or suffered a wealthy and socially prominent childhood.* We bought neither tomayto nor tomahto, but only tomatillo and basil, which we, of course, pronounce bayzil.)

We took in an excellent short talk on planting veggies in containers and raised beds, then continued north through prosperous countryside to Litchfield, where Chris was holding a few cases for us at his excellent wine shop, Casa Bacchus.

Litchfield has become something of a scene on warm Saturdays, and the restaurants and shops seemed to have been doing a good business. But, setting our face against conspicuous consumption, we headed west on Route 202 through Bantam and New Preston to the first of what will likely be two or three summer visits to Clamps, a tiny, old-fashioned, and deservedly popular hamburger stand in Marbledale. (For me, at least, Clamps is the Hamburger equivalent of Blackie’s, whose hotdogs—five or six of them at least, with the house relish only—lots of relish— will be my choice when the warden asks me what I’d like as a final meal.)

A short return north, then east, past our favorite orchard, to pick up Route 47 in Washington Depot, up the hill to Washington Green, and then home, where I quickly chilled a bottle of that wine and dawdled away the rest of a fine New England spring day.

* There are ways to pronounce the word that Porter’s song ignores. The great baseball player, Joe DiMaggio, had a sharp eye for attractive women (he was once married to Marilyn Monroe). He’d spot one, elbow a teammate, and say, “Wow, just look at that tamaytah!”

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