I recently convinced myself that August is National Tomato Month. Possibly because I have spent the last several weeks gorging on the beautiful New England tomatoes making their way to the Boston farmers’ markets and local farm stands.
Imagine my dismay when I discovered that August celebrates many foodstuffs, including sandwiches, catfish, and peaches, but according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, National Fresh Tomato Day falls on April 6th.
Now, if you dragged yourself through many, many miserably damp days in March and April of 2014, you know for a fact that there was not a local, sun-ripened, fresh tomato to be found in Boston on April 6th. And I’m not the only person who thinks August is the time to celebrate the glorious tomato. Consider the world-famous, tomato-centric celebration known as La Tomatina in Buñol, a small Spanish town in Valencia that attracts over 30,000 people every August.
This is the perfect time to enjoy beautiful ripe tomatoes of all varieties. They are also a superfood, rich in Vitamin C and fiber, as well as beta-carotene and lycopene. Read more about the health benefits of eating tomatoes in the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.
If you’re looking for new ways to enjoy tomatoes, here are a few of my favorite recipes:
- Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes from Smitten Kitchen
- Roasted Tomato Soup from 101 Cookbooks
- Heirloom Tomato Tart from Joy the Baker
And of course, you can always just eat a perfectly ripe tomato all on its own, preferably over the kitchen sink.
Summer is here and everyone at HHSL is looking forward to the 4th of July. There are so many options for celebrating in Boston that it can be overwhelming, so we asked some staff members for their recommendations:
My friends like to rent a kayak or canoe and watch the fireworks from the river!
-Becky Philio, Library Assistant
You can reserve a boat ahead of time, if you’re feeling nautical.
I like to watch the fireworks just standing on Memorial Drive. They pipe the music from the Pops along the Cambridge side of the River, so you can enjoy the spectacle without having to camp out all day for a spot on the Esplanade.
-Katherine Morley, Administrative Coordinator
If you do decide to enjoy the Pops on the Esplanade, this handy guide has all the info you need.
Go check out the Old Ironsides turnaround cruise. You can book a ticket on a boat that follows her around the harbor or just watch from shore as the world’s oldest commissioned warship takes her annual voyage to Castle Island. This is the year to do it, though–she’ll be undergoing restoration until 2018.
-Becky Morin, Head of Research & Instruction.
I’m not a native New Englander, so I was really excited last year when I was invited to a community clam bake for the 4th of July. Even though it was deathly hot (near 100 degrees F), it was really fun to celebrate with the whole neighborhood out on the rocky beach, eating all of the food everyone made. It was also really interesting to watch the evolution of the fire pit throughout the day. I’m not a big seafood eater, so I didn’t partake of the steamers and lobster, but everything looked and smelled amazing!
Katie Houk, Research & Instruction Librarian
Don’t know anyone with beach access? You can attend a clambake on Spectacle Island on the July 3rd, or any Thursday throughout the summer.
What’s your favorite thing to do on the 4th? Let us know!
Thanksgiving is next week, and then we launch into a full period of exams for December. You’ll be up late studying a lot, so what to do in those precious hours you have downtime and want to just relax? Well, how about read (or re-read) the Harry Potter series?
It’s a fun adventure, with magic, hard choices, and a characters not always being what they seem. On top of that, the fact it was written for a slightly younger audience means you can fly through the first few books, getting yourself almost immediately to the parts that made you sad the first time around (don’t lie, you know you felt a few tears leak out, and you know which part is being referred to).
One of the absolute strengths of the series is on Rowling’s ability to bring the world of wizards alive, creating characters that it is impossible not to feel sympathy for (or, in some cases, impossible not to hate. Looking at you, Umbridge). Between Ron, Harry, Hermione, and Neville, every single reader ends up having a favorite they find themselves rooting for through seven straight books, and it’s a joy to see them each grow and change as more events unfold.
Of course, no discussion of Potter would be complete without pointing out just how much fun the names are to read – Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasely, Neville Longbottom, Minerva McGonagall, Rubeus Hagrid, Dolores Umbridge, Voldemort, Draco Malfoy – Rowling has a Dickensian way of naming a character perfectly for their personality, making it even more fun to see them running around the castle together.
So pick up a hot Butterbeer Latte from Starbucks (part of their secret menu), crack open Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and let yourself be taken away down Memory Lane on a broomstick.
And good luck on your exams.
In observance of President’s Day Hirsh Health Sciences Library will be open with limited hours from 12noon to 7pm
Join HHSL in honoring our presidents, past and present.
Did you know that President’s Day was originally a holiday to honor George Washington’s birthday? Find out more interesting facts about this holiday on History.com’s President’s Day website!
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