By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
This year, I have decided to do my holiday decorating a little different.
In the past, I have filled my evergreen tree with treasure ornaments made by my children along with family collectables.
This includes homemade candy canes made from beads, little wooden backpacks, and my grandmother’s blown glass birds.
But this year, I am adding a unique decoration to my kitchen bar and that is a tomato tree.
This tree is not what one would expect. It is edible and ever changing. To start off, this tree’s form is one that can be found in many drugstores as the gumball tree. This tree is designed by pushing gumballs onto the ends of the plastic branches. This is the basic form of my tree but instead of gumballs I am going to use cherry tomatoes.
While I realize this seems a little unorthodox, I do feel it will be a conversation starter and a means of eating healthier. It is just as easy to “pick” a tomato as it is to reach for a cookie.
To begin my tomato experiment, I sat up my tree alongside my Thanksgiving decorations. This included my stuffed turkey and homemade bread cornucopia. The fruits I chose were not the ruby-red delights but instead the lovely orange and yellow colored cherry tomatoes. These colors added seasonal details to my kitchen bar without looking out of place. The “bar” I refer to is one that acts as my kitchen island.
As my guests arrived for the holiday meal, they all seemed to gather around the kitchen bar and swarmed around the “fresh” tomatoes. I asked out of curiosity why they gathered around the tomato platter. No one had the same answer but I guess the reason for this strange behavior was due to the universal attraction of taste that people have for tomatoes.
For the winter holiday, I plan to do the same thing but instead of using orange and/or yellow colored cherry tomatoes I am going to use ruby-red. While I typically do not use anything that is not in season, I am breaking this rule for the holidays.
Only time will tell how my holiday tomato tree will work out. I am hoping it will bring delight and discussions over last year’s garden season. I also hope that it allows us to realize how lucky we are to have a home, hearth, and friends to share this season.
So until we blog again, let me know how you would complete this saying. The craziest thing I have ever done with tomatoes is ______________________________.