Nervous Recs: Smashing Cherry Tomatoes with a Wooden Spoon

Cherry tomatoes are nature's bubble wrap, and gently popping them with a wooden spoon is a delicious way to stay mentally afloat.
Photo: Farideh Sadeghin
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The weeks have started to mush together living under a soft lockdown, and frankly, my brain has been bad. It didn't start too bad, with the sourdough and the Zoom calls and Animal Crossing, but it's gotten worse, and lately I've been looking for small ways to make bad brain good again—any activity, really, that provides some relief during this total assault on our mental health.

Last night, as I was halfway through preparing a make-do version of a white wine and fennel pasta sauce, I found a powerful dose of good brain that I can recommend to anyone who needs one: after the cherry tomatoes simmered for a few minutes, I popped an extra bulbous one, like Rudolph's nose, with the wooden spoon in my hand. Its taught skin ruptured under the light pressure of the spoon with a satisfying blup, and the soft goodness inside oozed out, but not before sending a spritz of juice into the air. I popped another, then another, and then I called my girlfriend over and said, "Hey, wanna do something fun? Pop some of these tomatoes!"


It was great; better than bubble wrap. For the first time that day, my brain was good instead of bad.

In the battle to stay mentally afloat, I can recommend this without reservation: popping soft cherry tomatoes with a wooden spoon. It's not, you know, "friends," or, "your parents," or, "a just and compassionate society," but damn, it's good!

Make one of these choice MUNCHIES recipes that would be perfect for this popping process:

Sungold Tomato Sauce Recipe