I’m thinking about my grandfather today. He was a man of few words. He didn’t see the need to learn a whole new language in a whole new country. I suspect he didn’t do much talking digging ditches. His vocabulary consisted of two words, one phrase: thank you. He always said it in “threes,”
My grandmother, on the other hand, worked diligently at mastering English. She read the newspaper. She watched soap operas (As the World Turns Berlitz). And, she talked to everyone. They were an interesting pair, my grandparents.
Today as I pick tomatoes from my garden I think of grandpa’s gnarly hands fashioning stakes to support the tomatoes in his garden with his rust-speckled pocket knife. I think of the workshop in his basement and the HUGE workbench he shaped and chiseled. Slowly. And deliberately. Grandpa didn’t need words.
And grandma? I think about her boiling the canning jars to “put up”
and quarts of tomatoes for the blustery winter months ahead.
We never tired of tomatoes.
Braised Chard with Tomatoes and Olives
1 ½ pounds Swiss chard (about 2 bunches)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound pear tomatoes, blanched and peeled or 1 can (14.5 ounces) whole pear tomatoes
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Several grinds fresh black pepper
1/3 cup chopped dry oil-cured black olives, pitted (or kalamata olives if you prefer those)
Source: adapted from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay