Digging Things That Are Ugly

(Subtitled: In which I wax poetic about heirloom tomatoes by way of a 50-year-old Mike Nesmith quote, to no one’s surprise)

At the end of an episode called “The Monkees Take Manhattan,” there is an interview with the 4 actors/musicians. This was a common way of dealing with an episode falling a minute or two short. In this case, one of the most memorable moments in the clip, for me at least, is when Mike Nesmith goes on a ramble about “digging things that are ugly.”

I often quote this, and think of it even more often than  I utter it. Tonight, I found that phrase popping into my head as I held a gloriously, beautifully “ugly” heirloom tomato.

Every now and then, posts about “ugly produce” and food waste make the rounds on facebook. All I can figure is that we, as a society, are usually so removed from our food sources that we’re used to cookie-cutter grocery store tomatoes, so people balk at a tomato with dark ridges on the top.

They miss out on the real beauty:

We had a simple, satisfying, summery dinner tonight. Turkey and chicken burgers and hickory smoked gouda, with tomato and Sol Salad Mix from our share from today. Sides of flax seed tortilla chips (a Trader Joe’s obsession of mine) and a big bowl of cherry tomatoes rounded out the meal.


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