She was hanging freshly-washed sheets and clothes on the line and I was “helping” her. When we were done she asked if I was hungry, which I was. Must have been lunch time.
After we brought the empty laundry basket and the bucket of unused clothes pins back into the house, she grabbed a big bowl and we went out into the garden again. She explained how to tell if the tomatoes were ripe and then she showed me how to pluck them off the vine.
They were blood red, huge, hot from the sun, heavy with juice and the perfume they emitted, even before they were sliced, was glorious. I was already drooling.
Back into the house we went.
Once there, she put a loaf of freshly-baked bread on the board and cut off thick slices — two for me and two for her. Then she slathered them with homemade mayonnaise, cut several tomatoes — also into thick slices and piled them on the bread — after which she sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I remember the plate she sliced the tomatoes on was full of juice. She handed it to me so I could drink it. Omg it was good. Those tomatoes were sweet.
As much as I couldn’t wait to dig in, I had to wait until she’d poured us each a glass of lemonade (which she’d made herself — no store bought for her), put our sandwiches on a plate and grabbed a few napkins.
We never made it to the picnic table. The two of us sat down on the back steps and started eating. I wouldn’t trade the finest meal in the best restaurant for those tomato sandwiches. Nothing has ever tasted so good.