I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tomatoes $2.99 lb., Onions $.99 lb, My Mother's Face While Eating Them........Priceless

It only seems fitting that my first post of the year be a light and healthy one. I decided to use my mother’s favorite weekly request which is tomato and onion salad. I have been making a big container of this for her every Saturday for three years. Even though the food is pretty good at the nursing home, the little salad that comes on her tray has always left a lot to be desired. This salad, if you can call it that consists of a couple chunks of ice berg lettuce, one bite size piece of cottony tomato and if she’s lucky a thin slice of cucumber and my mother’s biggest disappointment there are never any onions (my mother is the queen of onions, she can eat them like apples).
The only way any of the residents there can get any onions is to go down to the cafeteria where they have a pretty extensive salad bar. Unfortunately for those who are bed ridden such as my mother this is not an option, so a big container of tomato salad with lots and lots of onions has become a tradition. Every week comes with a specially requested treat in addition to her salad. This week she is craving liverwurst and onions on rye. She has also informed me that in a couple weeks she wouldn’t mind some spaghetti and meatballs.
If you could see the pleasure and contentment on her face when she is eating her tomato and onions it is absolutely priceless. Something so simple, yet it brings such joy and it’s really quite healthy for her to eat, I should probably follow her example and eat more tomatoes and onions.

My Mother's Tomato and Sweet Onion Salad

6 lg. fresh Roma tomatoes
1 medium sweet onion, sliced on the thin side
2 tbsp. minced fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
A bottled dressing such as Italian or some type of vinegrette works just fine

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Cut tomatoes as you desire and place in salad bowl. Add sliced sweet onion, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper. Mix olive oil and vinegar. Pour over the other ingredients. Mix gently and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


Kathy said...

Bless you for doing that for your mother. My Mom loved onions too and when she went to the nursing home, I carried in a hamburger topped with onions for her frequently...she loved it!

Julie said...

Thank you Kathy, my mother loves a good hamburg with lots of onions as well.....with extra kethchup!

Kalyn said...

This really made me smile. What a nice post, and a nice thing to do.

Julie said...

Thank you Kaylyn, it makes me feel good being able to do it.

Chris said...

Lovely post. This is a wonderful salad for all year, not just summer. (I love that we can get Romas all year, now. :)

Julie said...

Thank you very much Chris.

Sorina said...

Great recipe love it ha thanks looking forward to more recipes

Julie said...

Thank you Sorina

Anonymous said...

This story is priceless, terrific post!

Julie said...

Thank you Anonymous

Kate said...

What a nice post, and how delightful that you are both loving enough to share it with one another. I mean, your mother shows her appreciation by beaming with delight and being dignified and communicative to you, and you honor her with her favorites. That's wonderful. When my Dad was in a nursing home, my mother brought him a thermous of good coffee and a pecan cookie bar every weekend, for Sunday breakfast together, and other little treats from time to time. It was allowed, but he always felt and acted like she was sneaking them in. They were more delicious that way.

Julie said...

Kate it's funny you mention your mother bringing your father the thermos of good coffee. I bring coffee to my mother as well, the one at the nursing home is very weak and she prefers a good strong brew.