bruschetta-4I love working from home.

Because now I can sit in bed and Google terms like “S&M” on my laptop and not worry that I’ll be under investigation by my company’s HR manager.  Booted from corporate America for searching pornography with office-provided equipment, a large black “X” next to my name for all eternity.

It’s not that I regularly search terms like “S&M”, but I was a little curious about whether food-related S&M is an actual thing.

There is a back story here. 

As many of you probably know by now, we live in Chelsea in Manhattan.  Which is the epicenter of all things male. I’ll never forget the time I saw a young couple on the street with their two pre-school aged kids.  The kids suddenly took off down the sidewalk, yelling back to their parents “Mom, Dad, can we go to The Nasty Pig?” And the parents yelled back “OK! We’ll meet you there!”

Apparently The Nasty Pig, which still exists on 19th St., had a cute little dog that would come visit the kids at the door.  I’m not sure if the parents ever let them inside.  Hopefully they didn’t.

I’ve actually never been inside The Nasty Pig.  Kind of like my interest in visiting a Talbots – just not high on my priority list. But even if one day I summoned the courage to waltz inside, something about owner’s hulking demeanor and studded high tops suggests that women – particularly casually-dressed Type-A-looking women – would not be welcome.

Based on window dressing alone, I can make some assumptions about the merchandise inside.  A pretty good set of outfits and objects related to horseback riding- chaps, crops, reins, bits, things of that nature.  Not intended for horses, of course.

We were passing the store the other day, and Rodney spied a pair of leather chaps on a mannequin in the window.

“Should I get a pair of those?” he suggested.  “Maybe you’ll come home to find me bent over a chair, wearing them with an apple in my mouth.”

“I think it’s a ball, sweetie.  The apple is for a pig roast.”


“No, not whatever.  It’s not an apple.  Unless you’re suggesting some kind of farm-to-table S&M.”

But in the moments after I said that, my mind started to spin.  Maybe he was right.  I was so quick to judge, like I knew everything about farm-to-table S&M.  Maybe farm-to-table S&M actually was a thing.  And the horror, maybe Rodney was subtly hinting that he was into it. 

I had to find out for sure.

When I got home, I Googled “farm-to-table S&M”, and by God, it does exist!  Maybe not true S&M where someone is submissive while chewing a locally-grown carrot, but the fetishizing of food is real.  I swear, people are into this stuff.

I didn’t think I could ever look at an heirloom tomato again.

But quickly reversed course.

The next day after camp drop off, I raced over to the nearest Farmers’ market and found the tomato guy.  He was just casually sitting there, clearly unaware of the treasure trove surrounding him.

Digging through the plump tomatoes in crates, I found a few winners. 

Elated, I bought them and rushed back to concoct something…desirable?

I could just picture it:

“Honey, I’m home!” Rodney would call as he walked in the door.

“Oh hey sweetie, I’m just in the back having a snack.  Want to join me?” [pressing play on my iPod]

(Wait, click this link–it will do a better job of setting the scene: MaryPoppins)

Apologies readers, I really didn’t mean to mislead you like that.  The right music was essential to the story but I was forced to rename the mp3 file with something more family-appropriate.  Even a warning of “hey, guys, this is JUST the music, not the whole, um, soundtrack if you know what I mean” seemed like it would be too off-putting.  And if you knew from the first note that you were listening to the music from Debbie Does Dallas, you get a gold star.  Nice job, all that hard work in a dark and lonely bedroom or in faintly moldy basement has finally paid off.

I know, I know, I’ve stepped over the line. I assume that most of the trust we’ve built together is now gone.  


(Twiddling thumbs)

I can’t take it anymore!  I’m sorry! What more can I say? I thought it was funny, and I’m sorry you didn’t.

Are we still friends?  

Yes?  Good.  Well the postscript is that it turns out that Rodney in fact wasn’t into food-related S&M.  But he did say the bruschetta was delicious.  

Heirloom tomato bruschetta with basil
Yields 6
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 4 medium-large ripe heirloom tomatoes, a mix of colors, cored and chopped into large chunks
  2. 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
  3. 2 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  4. 5-6 basil leaves, sliced into a loose chiffonade (or if that word is too fancy, just tear them into pieces)
  5. Maldon salt and black pepper to taste
  6. 1 garlic clove
  7. 1 baguette, halved and sliced crosswise into thirds (to make 6 pieces)
  1. Heat a grill pan on medium high
  2. While the grill pan heats, make your bruschetta topping by mixing the tomatoes, oil, vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper in a large bowl
  3. Grill the bread so that it's lightly charred on both sides
  4. When the bread is toasted, take it off the grill pan, and rub a clove of garlic directly on the bread (not the crust side)
  5. Place the bread on a large serving platter, and spoon the tomato mixture on top
  6. Sprinkle if desired with an extra spray of Maldon salt for texture
  7. Add a few grinds of fresh black pepper and serve
Feed me dearly
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