Just a Plain Tomato Sandwich!

Dear Reader:

The craving started Saturday afternoon, while I was watching A Chef’s Life with Vivian Howard, on PBS. She was talking about heirloom tomatoes and how her body was craving a tomato sandwich (like the kind she grew up with) on white bread with Duke’s Mayonnaise…and a dash of salt and pepper. She then proceeded to eat one with her mom and dad. My mouth was drooling.

She was talking about how many tomatoes lose their flavor today because they are shipped in refrigerated containers and cool/cold tomatoes lose their flavor immediately… the texture goes mushy.

She was in search of heirloom (or as she called them  ‘Old Timey’ tomatoes like she ate as a child.) She remembered she would always break out in a tomato-induced rash…but she figured it was a small price paid for what is her favorite food by far.

She had Mary Vaugh and some of the other great local cooks show her how to can tomatoes and make the best tomato pie around.


By the time the show was over I was crazy-craving  a plain tomato sandwich. But I had not stopped to pick up any bread (I love Captain John Derst’s Good Old Fashioned‘ ‘yella’ bread.)

I had gotten some tomatoes at the open air market on Edisto before I left but no bread…I knew I had a little bit of Duke’s Mayo left in the fridge and plenty of salt and pepper. (I actually had made a batch of spaghetti earlier in the day so I consoled myself with that for supper.)

Then yesterday, Mother’s Day, I had a yummy breakfast with John and Mandy and the children…leaving with a delicious-aroma’ed lavender plant…the car smelled so good. I stopped by Tommy and Kaitlyn’s house to see the best dog babysitters around…Butch and Susan. Everyone was getting ready for the Dingle Five’s arrival later in the afternoon .

*My favorite thing is looking at the grandchildren’s’ artwork for their mother…. by Eva Cate and Jakie!

I arrived back in Summerville around 2:30….went immediately to the open air market, picked up two more tomatoes, got my bread (thank goodness they carry Captain Derst’s bread…. the cashier told me the customers voted on which bread to carry to go with their tomato sandwiches and it won hands down.)

I still had a bag of Uncle Ray’s chips, some tea in the fridge…I was set. Happiness is….I finally satisfied my craving…it was just as good as I had dreamed about for 24 hours!….

So until tomorrow….When you are really craving something…do something about it. I figure it is my body telling me...”Life is short…eat that tomato sandwich girl and smile!” (If something happened…that would be my first regret at the Pearly Gates…Doggone it…why didn’t I go get the fixin’s for my tomato sandwich!)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I came back to lantana popping out everywhere and blooms galore welcoming me back home.


Walsh and Mollie with another couple and all their children went to Fripp Island to spend Mother’s Day…the wildlife and natural habitat is what draws people to this native island. They sent some pictures of their surroundings….so pretty.


I smiled as I left John and Mandy’s heading out late yesterday morning….at the message on the community billboard…good advice and I got my phone calls from Tommy (JFK airport) and Walsh (Fripp Island)….thank you children for remembering mom today. And big brother, Ben, for his call.  Kisses and hugs to all!


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Just a Plain Tomato Sandwich!

  1. bcparkison says:

    We need a good old fashioned farmers market here.


  2. What a wonderful post for nostalgia. I loved tomato sandwiches growing up in Chattanooga. I thought it was a southern dish or habit. My husband from California never heard of them.


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