So now I have some eggplants to cook with, which is nice. I picked a couple to put on the grill with the hamburgers tonight, which I guess gave Charlie ideas, because he then picked a teeny eggplant only a couple of inches long and brought it to me.
So we had a little talk about not picking them until I tell him they're ready to pick, because that tiny little eggplant should have been left to grow bigger and blahblahblah . . . leave the vegetables* alone, okay, kid?
"Osay," said Charlie. Because that's how Charlie and his three-year-old pronunciation say "okay."
Fifteen minutes later, Charlie was circling the lone tomato plant that is in a pot near the grill. He asked if they were ready to pick. I told him no. There were maybe five or six that were almost ready, maybe a day or two more, but not all the way ready. Wait until I tell you to pick them, okay?
"Oooosaaaay . . ."
Did you guess how this ends?
No, he didn't pick them. Instead he squeezed them. Yup. Popped 'em all like water balloons. I went out to check on the grill and found every single almost-ripe tomato still on the vine but burst open and oozing seeds and juice.
He got another lecture, this one delivered more forcefully. I told him the tomatoes wouldn't get fully ripe now. I told him they wouldn't taste as good. I told him I was angry that he had ruined the tomatoes I had asked him not to pick. Was he repentant?
What do you think?
I almost wish I had had a camera to capture the defiant look on his face.
I threw the two least-ripe tomatoes right onto the grill, figuring that would help their flavor. The others I cut up and dumped into the vinaigrette marinade left from the eggplant. So it worked out okay.
Charlie shuffled off to the front porch to sulk. Then he snuck into the house and sulked in the living room for awhile, hiding there while I ran around outside calling him. When I finally did find him in the living room, I told him I was making the tomatoes into a tomato salad and he could help me pick the basil for the salad.
He did. The salad was good. Would've been better with riper tomatoes, though.