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Running with the Nightshades 

Ms. Day’s unwavering love for the tomato is beyond compare. Could there be a more spectacular food? From gorgeous heirlooms to the regular backyard variety, tomatoes enhance sandwiches, salads, eggs and, well, life. This fantastic fruit even makes donating money more rewarding than ever. Feel the charitable tomatoey love during the Tomato Ball, happening from 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, at Iron Barley (5510 Virginia Avenue; 314-351-4500 or www.ironbarley.com). This benefit for Lift for Life Gym serves up an outdoor tomato-intensive buffet for a mere $20 per person; get your tickets at www.liftforlife.org. Iron Barley continues the Lift for Life love on Sunday, August 19, with Tomato Fest, which features music, BLTs, a tomato sale, raffles, tomato contests and other such activities; the fest goes from 1 to 7 p.m.

But wait! That’s not all of the tomato time this weekend! On Saturday the Best Homegrown Tomato Challenge comes to town (specifically, to the Missouri Botanical Garden; 4344 Shaw Boulevard). This contest calls on local tomato-growers to submit their best work for cash prizes, which are awarded at noon, and local tomato-samplers (like Ms. Day) to try out some recipes. Yum! For more information about the challenge, call 314-577-9400 or visit www.mobot.org.
Aug. 18-19

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