I’ve been waiting all summer to write this article.

It would seem a sorrowful shame to not give tomatoes their time in the spotlight this season, as they are commonly the unsung (and sung) heroes of home gardens and market stalls. I thought about tomatoes a lot, every week knowing I could choose them, and every week reminding myself I actually want to wait.

I almost waited too long, but oh well. Tomatoes have been hanging around for months now. We wait breathlessly for them to appear in farmers’ booths' the first few courageous fruits are snatched up in no time. Every week as the season progresses, we pick our gorgeous red, yellow, and maybe even purple tomatoes from market boxes, garden plants, and friends’ offerings.

By now, though, tomatoes have mostly run their course, and our tastebuds have already started to switch over to the deeper, richer flavor profiles of fall. This is actually when I usually start to hit the jackpot: too many people know of my insatiable love for preserving the harvest, and my ingrained Mennonite inability to say no to free things. I will never turn down a bucket of tomatoes — I know far too well the addictive pleasure of taking a day to “put up” a winter’s worth of pizza sauce, rotel, paste.

And salsa. Salsa is the reason I’ve been holding off writing about tomatoes for so long this season, but not because I didn’t have the wherewithal or the ingredients. I held off because I make salsa primarily for my husband and his chips habit — and he wasn’t supposed to eat it.

Certain components of tortilla chips and salsa make them not top-notch snacking choices for someone either with an ostomy or recovering from ostomy surgery. Especially someone like Brian, who knows that once he starts into a jar of salsa, he’ll probably just go ahead and polish it off.

Aware of his chipping tendency, Brian waited a commendable length of time before he decided his digestive system was ready to give it a shot. I could have eaten it without him, of course, but it’s just not the same, so I abstained along with him. Until last Sunday, it seemed like things should be healed enough internally for Brian to give it a shot.

You can guess by now that the endeavor was a success.

Salsa is the top priority of our garden every year, and I’ve canned a couple of batches in the last months. Fresh salsa is hard to beat, except for, in our opinion, canned salsa. Those jars down on the “fruit room” shelves will begin disappearing with alacrity.

Different people celebrate different milestones throughout their lives. Turning a certain age, running a marathon, buying a home.

But for Brian and me, we get to celebrate a particularly unique one: our chips and salsa milestone. It took almost a year for us to get to it, but we made it.

It might be time to do a happy dance — maybe even a salsa.

Amanda Miller writes a column about local foods for The Hutchinson News. She teaches classes at Apron Strings and makes cheese on her family’s dairy farm near Pleasantview. Reach her at hyperpeanutbutter@gmail.com