Monday, August 10, 2009

Of tomatoes and unlocked cars...

First off, I want to send a shout out to the Opus Gluei ladies. They had an enormous blog candy giveaway earlier this summer and I was a lucky winner. When Rosemary delivered this huge box to me, I was blown away. It was a creative Christmas in July bonanza! And being the shopaholic I am, I was surprised to find that with the exception of adhesive and a white pen (which we can never get enough of), all of these goodies were new to me.

Finally I was able to sit down and play with all of this fun stuff and made a sweet card using only goodies from the blog candy stash (except for 2 Stickles colors)...Even the bird stamp, inks and flower punch were in this box. And some of the paper is embossed or blinged ~ Love it! Made the card into a circle by using the old standby Creative Memories circle cutter. After folding my cardstock in half, I cut the circle leaving one side of it over the edge to maintain the crease of the card. Thank you Rosemary and Jana for a most fun collection of artsy crafty inspiration!

Now, about those tomatoes....

We've come to that wonderful time of year, long after the first exciting summer BLT, when we have more tomatoes than meals or time to deal with them. I've yet to start making tomato sauce, but that will be in the works this week. If you have more tomato plants than sense (like me), you may find yourself in a similar predicament. There are 2 ways to handle this; when you go to work, the gym, etc, bring bags of tomatoes and stash them in unlocked cars. One a particularly warm day, the lucky recipients will already have stewed tomatoes for dinner that night. Or get creative with your tomatoes.

I'm trying hard to choose the latter. Long ago and far away when AOL was still a baby, there were super-active gardening boards. I've always enjoyed playing in the dirt and the gardening boards were my first stop each day. We traded tips, stories and in late summer when the harvest overtook us, recipes.

The boards have been long gone since the Plant Nazis chased us out (another story for another day), but the recipes remain. One summer, everyone contributed their favorite tomato recipes which turned into a huge file that had to be emailed to us in 2 installments. That tomato stained file is one of my favorite places to turn to when looking for inspiration. Seeing the names of the contributors also brings back great memories of trading gardening wisdom and anecdotes.

I'll try to post tomato recipes throughout the rest of tomato harvesting season to help anyone else with a kitchen that's been overtaken by the summers bounty a little inspiration.

First up is a recipe for Italian Bread Salad. During the summer, we always seem to have all the ingredients on hand, making this a quick summer treat.

Italian Bread Salad:
2-3 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 C. croutons or stale bread cut into squares
1/4 C. feta cheese
4-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Put the croutons or diced bread in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Place the tomaotes on top of them and gently toss. Add cucumber, feta and basil. Lightly toss. Dress with vinegar and oil to taste. Salt and pepper to taste (the feta and balsamic adds a lot of acidity & saltiness, so start light on the salt). Tastes best if it sits about 15-30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.


TJ said...

My tomatos were a complete flop and I planted 10 plants this year. One good thing, if anyone at church has extra produce, they often bring it to the harvest table at church, and I can pick some up on Sunday mornings. Right now everyone is sharing zucchini and cucumbers.

I look forward to your recipes!

Sasha said...

I wish and do mean WISH I had a mean green thumb like you ..

I am going to have to check that movie out you have linked up over there ======>

Heather said...

Cute card! We are having the issue in our garden but with zucchini and squash. I've already baked 2 chocolate zucchini cakes this week and that only used up one of them!! Good luck with the tomatoes!

Rosemary said...

Oh that recipes sounds delicious! I'm so glad you liked your blog booty, you made a beautiful card with it! (isn't that Mimosa paper awesome, I had to go and buy some of it - I was coveting it from the blog candy box)

glitzen said...

Darling birdie card! :) Love that color combo too. I am happy to have found your blog again, I had forgotten to stop by..and now I'm back! :)

Jingle said...

LOL! You so should go with the car plan! HA! I love it! Good luck with your real plan!