The third Saturday in October: Cherry tomatoes and despair

It is the third Saturday in October. There are beautiful sweet cherry tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market. That will be a bright spot in an otherwise trying day.

The third Saturday in October is the Tennessee-Alabama game. It is also right smack dab on or near to Mark’s birthday every year. It’s kind of like getting married the day before April 15, which we did. Our anniversary is always tinged with bitterness as we ready our tax return – and check – to our hapless, idiot government that will waste it on $47 screws. Speaking of screwed, we as a country are right now. I want to go to Wall Street and protest. But I can’t afford the plane ticket, this being a stinkin’ recession and all.

But I digress. So, most years, Tennessee does not do well against Alabama. Most years, I watch the game in the bedroom so I do not have to hear Mark’s constant screaming at the TV. Most years, we start drinking before halftime so that by the end of the game we have a hard time remembering who was even playing. It gets that bad. Happy birthday, honey! He does not tell me to shut up, but he is thinking it.

This year, the game was played on the eve of Mark’s birthday. We got clobbered. Taken to the cleaners. Whooped upside the head. Mark was inconsolable and headed to the deck for solitude so he could properly wallow in his depression. I tip-toe out there. He is pretending to read. I imagine the title of the book: “Hurts so bad: What it means to be a Tennessee fan.” Happy birthday, honey! Happy birthday? Oh, never mind.

So, there is nothing in the world to cure a bad case of depression like Eggs Benedict, which I make him this morning now that he has gotten his appetite back. If you are afraid of making hollandaise and resort to that little packet in the grocery store, please reconsider. It takes five minutes and it never fails. Here’s the recipe.

And the cherry tomatoes, tossed with some fresh basil, salt, pepper and olive oil are a perfect side dish. Hollandaise sauce? Bad, bad, bad but oh so good! Tomatoes are redemption every second bite. I am loading up on restorative food to erase the horror of last night. Supper will be his favorite dish, mustard chicken. And then German chocolate cake for dessert, not just like his mother used to make because I got it at my beloved Publix. But it’s the thought that counts.


  1. The Food Gospel According to Ruth
    October 24, 2011 at 1:52 am

    I just love your writing!! I can 100% appreciate your sentiment! Thanks for sharing

  2. Ken
    October 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I love the 3rd Saturday in October. It also falls on the week or weekend of my birthday. The Alabama/Tennesse is the 2nd most important ballgame of the year, second only to the Alabama/Auburn game. I wish I had seem your eggs benedict recipe earlier so I could have celebrated the outcome of the game.

    • the south in my mouth
      the south in my mouthReply
      October 27, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      I think you’ll have many more victories to celebrate. If I can’t say Go Vols! then I’ll happily let the Tide Roll. Go SEC!

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