Tomatoes: A taste of home

Photo of vegetable garden

I’m so glad to be visiting home again. Besides getting to spend time with family and friends, I get to enjoy the bounty of my parent’s garden.  My attempt to grow my own indoor garden this summer was less than successful…

Before

Photo basil plant

After

Photo basil plant -now

Now that I’m home, I look forward to going outside every morning to pick tomatoes for my breakfast. And lunch. And dinner.

Photo vegetable garden

My options include Sweet Million cherry tomatoes, Brandywines, Scarlet Reds, and Roma Plums –all equally delicious. I have to stop myself from eating them right off the bush.

Photo cherry tomatoesPhoto cherry tomatoesPhoto roma plum tomato

I usually grab a handful of basil as well.

Photo basil plant

I’ve added tomatoes to my eggs in the morning, and on salads for lunch.

Photo tomato salad

Juicy tomatoes are an essential ingredient to guacamole (recipe from a California-native below).

Photo guacamole

Or I eat them plain, perfect just as they are.

Photo cherry tomatoes

Becca’s Best Guacamole:

Please note, this will be the most popular item at your party. All ingredients are to excess, but some flexible guidelines below:

  • Avocados (as many ripe ones as you can find at the store)
  • Tomatoes (as many as you can pick from the garden)
  • Fresh-chopped garlic (approximately 2 cloves)
  • Lemon juice (squeezed from one lemon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Philly, for a second.

Photo of home

This weekend, I visited home for the first time in six months. I know that many twenty-somethings are too busy or too broke to journey home more than once a year, so I really can’t complain if I get to make the trip twice or three even times. But even so, I crave the simple comforts of drinking coffee on the porch in the morning, reading on the hammock, waking up in my childhood bed… more and more after each visit.

Photo of hammock

For me, going home is like rereading a favorite book: There are no surprises and I already know all the characters. But there is something so soothing about thumbing through the same dog-eared pages, falling into rhythm with the familiar words and phrases, and, more than anything, reacquainting myself with my favorite characters.

Photo with dad circa 1995

My dad is the hero of this story, and Father’s Day was the reason for my visit. As his only daughter, I can’t image how terrifying it must have been to watch me accelerate through adolescence, push through the tangle of my teenage years, leave home for college and city life, move into my first apartment, apply for jobs, graduate… He has always been there to offer guidance, or just to listen, as I continue to get lost between the lines of my own story.

From day one, he’s loved me more than any man ever could.

Photo 1st picture with dad

He supported my city, long before we ever knew I’d live here…

Photo of Dad in Red Sox hat

Told me where to go to find my heart’s closest desire…

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And still keeps me well-stocked with my favorite coffee.

Photo of Wawa coffee

He’s kept his faith in me unwavering, even when I doubted myself…

Photo grad card from dad

And has always been there to catch me if I fall.

Photo beach with dad

Every time I go home, to the same house where my dad grew up, I am reminded of how beautiful my childhood was. But this story I’m writing has only gotten better with age. In devoting his life to taking care of his family, my dad has taught me that there is no greater measure for success than happiness. And he could not have raised a happier, or more grateful, little girl.