It occurs to me that I have yet to share much of my 2016 garden with you. If you follow @goodgriefcook on instagram then you have gotten some snippets. I love instagram. It is such a happy place with the best photography of people, places and food. Right now home-grown tomatoes are trending.
Back to my garden. It has been the most bountiful, yet. Each year seems to be better and better. It helps to rotate crops and purchase plants and seeds from reputable places. The last two years I have been a huge fan of the Burpee company because every single seed and plant purchased from them seem to flourish in my little plot of heaven. More good news is that I haven’t needed to use any herbicides or pesticides on my plants. It seems hungry birds make a meal of most of the bugs. We encourage birds to hang around in our yard by providing suet in the winter and a few nesting boxes scattered around the garden area.
One thing I really do need to learn is how to properly plant a variety of plants and seeds that don’t ripen all at once. Feast or famine? Right now we are feasting on tomatoes including two varieties (salsa and yellow pear) that self seeded from last year. I love those surprise plants and all the others that inspired today’s recipes.
Toasted Fennel Tomato Jam is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I featured it around this time last year as inspired by my son’s love for the caprese salad. If you really want to add some life to your favorite Italian mozzarella or burrata make the jam. Happily, I used up a 4 pound mix of tomatoes in this batch and it is as good as ever.
My latest original recipe is a Tomato Bread made with tomato juice and a mix of soy and bread flour. Back when I attended the National Festival of Breads I was gifted a bag of soy flour, so I thought I might give it a try. The bread makes a great sandwich with a mild tomato taste and slight sweetness from molasses.
Finally, and at at the suggestion of my daughter, together we whipped up this tomato pie recipe from Epicurious.com. We used gruyere cheese instead of cheddar and filled it with sweet heirloom cherry tomatoes and a smaller Brandywine variety. From the crisp buttery crust to the spicy cheese topping this tomato pie is a tasty one. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Hope you enjoyed this glimpse of gardening from my neck of the woods. You say tomato and I say delicious especially if it is home-grown.
By the way, I have not been compensated in any way by any of the companies that I have mentioned here. As always I am just sharing my favorite quality products with you. It’s like a good neighbor who suggests her favorite restaurant or a tomato plant variety to try.