Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tomato Pop

                  Do you know how to skin a tomato?
                  I do.
                  Oh, and by the way, it’s not the same way that you would peel a potato.  I got laughed at when I said I was going to do that.  I asked if Rex thought I could use a potato peeler on a tomato, and he laughed at me.  LAUGHED.  He said, “You’re going to get tomato junk everywhere.  Don’t do it.”  Of course, he didn’t offer up that criticism with any better ideas, but I digress.
                  Don’t ask me why I was peeling a tomato.  It really didn’t need to be peeled.  It’s been a long week, and I wanted to try some new domestic technique to cheer me up.  I read that peeling a tomato is supposed to be complicated, so I decided to try it.  One of my textbooks tells me that in order to peel a tomato, I should “hold it over a gas flame until it pops.”
                  I’m sorry…I need to do what?  Turn on my stove and roast the tomato like a marshmallow?  Is this some kind of sick version of a health food s’more?  I wanted to refuse, but it was too tantalizing of a challenge.  I pulled out a fork and skewered my tomato.
                  Rex asked what I was doing.  Peeling the tomato with a potato peeler didn’t seem quite as ridiculous now that I was roasting it instead.  I felt a little ridiculous myself, to be honest with you.  I turned on the stove and tentatively pushed the tomato into the flame.  I held it there for a few seconds, but nothing happened.  I took it out of the flame and looked at it.  Was it possible to roast a tomato wrong?  I put it back in the flame….held it there for a few more seconds….and….POP!
                  I jumped and screamed in surprise.  Rex laughed again (he’s always laughing at me).   I don’t know what I was expecting, exactly, but I hadn’t expected the tomato to pop.  In retrospect, the book did say to wait until the tomato “pops,” but I guess I thought that was an exaggeration or something.  Anyway, the tomato popped.  More accurately, the skin popped.  It was loud, and it startled me.  Once it popped, I easily slipped the skin off of the meat of the tomato.  It was way cool.  You should try it sometime.
                  So there I had it – a perfectly peeled tomato.  I was very proud of myself until I realized that I had absolutely no use for a peeled tomato.  Why do people peel tomatoes?  What kind of recipe calls for a peeled tomato?  Rex says that you need to peel tomatoes for canning purposes, but that’s obviously dumb since you can just BUY canned tomatoes.  I see no reason to can your own.  I asked Rex if he wanted the tomato, but he didn’t.  Neither did his friend Steven.  I’m pretty sure Elvis wanted it, but I heard somewhere that tomatoes are bad for dogs so I ended up just throwing it away. 
                  You might say that I wasted a perfectly good tomato, but no – it was a learning tomato.  Now I have learned how to peel properly.  Once I find a recipe that calls for peeled tomatoes, I am going to be absolutely ready.

1 comment:

  1. Someday if you ever have a garden, peeling tomatoes is a must, because canning your own is surely a domestic requirement. Another way to peel them is drop them for a few seconds in boiling water, then move them into a sinkful of cold water. And yes, if you are going to can tomatoes, the skins left on are not that appetizing.