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Extension, Red Bay Farmer’s Market host annual Tomato Sandwich Day

Summer was a little sweeter for those who participated in a special yearly event, Tomato Sandwich Day, hosted by the Franklin County Extension System and the Red Bay Farmers Market Aug. 6.

Free tomato sandwiches and friendly conversation featured as the main events.

“We were prepared for a hundred,” explained Franklin County Extension Coordinator Katernia Cole Coffey, “and about 75-plus came. That’s a great number.

“It’s wonderful to be able to host events like this,” she added. “It’s a lot of fun for the community and a great way to celebrate summer.”

Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore was among those who attended the event. He described his sandwich as “delicious.”

Cole Coffey said this year’s event welcomed attendees from Iowa, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arizona, along with local residents. She said those who came had a chance to take home insulated bags as well as fruit and vegetable coloring books courtesy of the Franklin County Extension office.

“This educational, nutritional and social event was a great way for locals and visitors alike to get together in an environment that encourages friendly interactions,” Cole Coffey added.

She shared these tips for picking out and using tomatoes: “When selecting fresh, choose tomatoes with bright, shiny skins and firm flesh. Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight, for use within one week after ripening. Tomatoes taste best if not refrigerated; refrigerate only if you cannot use them before they spoil.”

Cole Coffey pointed out tomatoes are healthy for a number of reasons. “They’re fat-free, cholesterol-free, very low in sodium, low in calories and high in Vitamin C.”

Red Bay Mayor Charlene Fancher said the day was “certainly enjoyed and appreciated by the many who attended.”

“The Franklin County Extension Office does an excellent job of promoting and supporting Red Bay’s Farmers Market,” Fancher added, “and it is not unusual for the vendors at the Red Bay market to sell out quickly each day the market is open. Local tastes better.”

So how does one create the perfect classic tomato sandwich? The Franklin County Extension recommends:

  1. Start with one large, fresh, juicy tomato; two slices of white bread, mayonnaise, salt and black pepper.
  2. Cut the tomato into thick slices.
  3. Spread mayonnaise on both slices of bread.
  4. Top one slice of bread with two or three tomato slices – or more.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Top with remaining slice of bread.