So what was my big splurge? A spiffy new car? A costly hunk of Jewelry? A pricey pair of designer sunglasses? Get real! You’re talking to one of the last of the small spenders here. Splurging is relative and right now, with my current computer on life support and a streamlined new Mac waiting to punch a major hole in my bank balance, I consider every dime I spend on non-necessities to be a big deal — a splurge. Which is why this morning at the farmer’s market I almost hesitated before breaking out my wallet and forking over the extravagant sum of $6.00 for three tomatoes and four ears of corn. Translated, that’s $3.00 a pound for tomatoes or $1.333 per smallish tomato and $.50 for each ear of corn.

Now for some, those may be normal everyday prices. But for this frugal mama who habitually seeks out the best bargains in fresh fruits and vegetables from neighborhood street vendors or a certain out of the way, uptown Spanish Harlem food market, those are rich figures for a couple of veges. Except these aren’t ordinary, everyday veges. Grown by nearby farmers, they’re the very FIRST LOCAL corn and tomatoes to make their eagerly awaited summer debut on the streets of New York.

Some may scoff at the idea of any kind of vegetables at any price being considered a splurge. In my younger days, I probably would have. In my twenties I barely noticed what I ate and sometimes got so involved with work, I’d forget to have lunch — or couldn’t even remember if I had eaten lunch. But then in my thirties my taste buds started perking up, and every decade since then has sharpened and further educated them. To the point of my watching for the first local summer corn and tomatoes like a parched desert traveler searching the horizon for an oasis and water.

So how did my big corn and tomato splurge taste? Don’t know yet. Am saving the beauties for dinner…

Mission accomplished: dinner eaten. Grown in Jersey, the deep red, beefsteak tomato slices, adorned with nothing but a light sprinkle of salt, were as anticipated — juicy and intensely flavored. The corn, however — oh my that corn. Known as “Sweet white” with an unbelievably tender texture, it was like biting into and savoring a food of the gods. With just a hint of butter and salt, those tender young kernels galvanized my taste buds, happily fed my stomach and delighted my soul. And anything in the delight-the-soul-department is worth the cost.

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