Using Garden Tomatoes
A Soup and Bread Combo:
Two of my favorite north country recipes are from my good neighbors Fannie and Tom. Fannie makes a similar soup for her grandchildren from her garden vegetables. Tom (Betty's brother) created this bread for its health benefits. I think they are wonderful together.
Dr. Victoria Rosenholz
Fannie's Amish Tomato Garden Soup with ABC's
created by Fannie Swartezentruber and adapted by Victoria Rosenholtz
Betty's Brother's (cracked wheat and cornmeal) Bread
created by Tom McManus
Fresh Garden Salsa
Chop all vegetables, mix together with other ingredients. The heat depends on the strength of your hot peppers. If its still not hot enough, add a bit of cayenne.
Tomato Brie Linguine
Yummm! This time of year I have this at least 3 times a week!
Italian Tomato Salad
Place ingredients in the bowl/mix together/sprinkle with salt/allow salad to stand AT LEAST 30 minutes/serve with hard-crusted Italian bread
I can never decide which is better/the fresh tomatoes or the bread soaked in the tomato juices. Delicious!
When I was growing up in New Jersey, my father insisted on a Victory garden that could feed the entire town. It was war years and this was normal for the rural town we lived in. Besides my father loved turning over the soil, getting his hands into the rich dirt and watching the seeds develop into our table sustenance. In his enthusiasm there were always tomatoes that could not ripen in the allotted New Jersey sun timetable.
What to do with all the green tomatoes? My mother grew up with a father who believed in homegrown and organic and created the same overabundance of green tomatoes. Both my mother and her mother came to this situation armed with the family recipe for green tomato pickles from Grandma Bellinger who lived from 1839 - 1924. Having an overdeveloped sweet tooth, these pickles were my all time favorite Sunday dinner accompaniment with anything. In addition, the syrup had a role for making spiced pears special, basting ham or Canadian bacon too.
So when our garden played the short sun trick on us (again in New Jersey) I was armed with the answer! By this time I had inherited a wonderful pickle crock to work with and brought my family into this tradition too.
Elise Widlund, North River
Green Tomato Pickles
Wash, chop or put through a food processor until finely ground (puree).
Blend, heat. bring to boil, cook until volume is reduced by half.
Our family used to love going to Grandma and Grandpas home in eastern Pennsylvania. We always felt at home and our children looked forward to Grandmas excellent cooking. On one trip, when our daughter was 8 and our son just 4, we arrived and almost immediately sat down to what looked to be a sumptuous luncheon feast. As we scanned the table for all the goodies there were to choose from, Grandma went to the refrigerator and brought forth individual salad plates for each of us. The salad was very unusual. To the untrained eye, it appeared to be a bed of lettuce with a generous dollop of red Jello in the middle. We thought nothing of it, but Grandma had a little smile on her lips anticipating our reaction to her special creation.
As the meal progressed, the salads sat quietly by each plate. But, when the main portion of the meal started to wind down, we each turned to our salad. I dont recall who made the first move, but a generous bite of the salad was made with much anticipation. The excitement of that bite was quickly replaced by a questioning look and then a very sour face. That red Jello on the salad was really something Grandma had made called Tomato Aspic. It is a concoction of tomato juice, spices and gellatin. In Grandmas day, during the depression, it was a delicacy in her home. On that day in eastern Pennsylvania, it was a painful experience.
We had always taught our kids to eat what is put before you. So, we slowly encouraged them to eat at least half of the special delicacy that Grandma had made. It took a very long time and both kids were real troopers. When we were finally done, we moved on to dessert, but we could see that Grandmas pride was a little injured over our reaction.
That incident happened about 30 years ago. To this day, with grandchildren of our own coming to visit, inevitably someone will mention the tomato aspic disaster. I just love when this happens as it conjures up that moment those many years ago and brings my mother and father, gone now these many years, back to our table to enjoy family fellowship again.