Friday
Aug032012

Italian Tomato Pie

Ready for the oven.......

Fresh from the oven.................

This is an unusual recipe, one that if I was flipping through a magazine while waiting at the dentist office, probably would not consider.  The true summer joy, a vine ripened tomato, it’s a flavor you want to keep, but is compromised in canning and freezing.  That exquisite flavor is not lost in this recipe.  

It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon and Dick had just brought in more ripe tomatoes from the garden.  At that time the garden was behind the barn.  Our friends, Ron and Cindy, dropped in for a visit and “the tomato chest beating” began. Dick and Ron competed in a tomato growing contest every summer and that year, Ron was well ahead, in tomato size.  His garden had produced a two pounder!  Dick’s garden was more prolific; but, as Ron pointed out, smaller tomatoes.  Cindy told me about a tomato pie recipe and was able to remember the ingredients.  It didn’t sound appealing, think the word “pie” was the problem.  We decided to give it a try that afternoon; now a summer favorite.       

                  ITALIAN TOMATO PIE 

9 inch pie shell, pricked and pre-baked for 6 minutes at 450 degrees

2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, drained and sliced (depending on size, about 3)

1 and ½ cup cheddar or combination of cheeses, grated or diced small

1 cup fresh basil, chives, oregano, scallions or herbs of choice (more or less to taste)

1/3 cup mayonnaise, thinned with juice of 1 lemon (again, more or less lemon juice to taste) 

Slice tomatoes rather thick, salt lightly, place on a cooling rack over newspaper, topped with paper towels.  Let drain about 30 minutes, turn over, lightly salt again and drain for another 30 minutes.  Without draining, the pie can be soggy, depending on the water content of the tomatoes.  Layer cheese in pre-baked shell, then tomatoes, herbs next, then cheese.  Pour or dollop thinned mayonnaise on top and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.

Note:  My choice is fresh basil for the herbs, love the summery, light flavor and it is usually very abundant in the Cinnamon Morning herb pots; occasionally will add scallions, depending on guest preferences.   

Source: Cindy Kirkpatrick   Serves: 6


Monday
Jul092012

Tales of Digby & Casper Chapter 2

Digby, Chapter 2

My favorite guest quote -  Vicky, a frequent visitor had studied him for several moments, she very seriously said “Digby when I look into your eyes I can see all the way to Cincinnati”.   This about sums it up.  Digby is largely primal, he lives to eat and mark his territory and is lost without a buddy to follow.  After Santo died, we knew we had to find another to lead the way.  He would walk outside and look around with no idea what to do or where to go.  

 

One afternoon a guest came to the patio gate to check-in.   As always Santo and Digby were there to greet her and be introduced.  I began by telling her Santo was old and indifferent, Digby was happy to see her but she shouldn’t expect much from him, because he is not very bright.  She seemed offended by my Digby description and asked for more explanation.  I momentarily was lost for another, perhaps more complimentary adjective and decided to give her an example by explaining that there had never been any success in teaching him to use the doggie door.  At the time we had taken in three cats that loved to cause a ruckus, purposely causing a chase which would result in all going through the pet door, including Santo.  Digby would be at the tail end and when all had escaped through the door he would screech to a stop, turn, look at me and seemingly ask, “Where did they all go?”  She handed me her business card -  a dog whisperer.  She said she could train him to use the doggie door within fifteen minutes; it was the easiest of all things to teach a dog.   I had always thought so until Digby came along.  The offer to her was if she was successful her stay at Cinnamon Morning would be comped, it would have been so worth it.  I gave her about a pound of treats to use, Digby Bait.  Thirty minutes later she sheepishly handed me her credit card.  She probably thought her reputation was at risk.  Hopefully she was reassured after a day or two observing Digby that she was not lacking in expertise.  

My sense of Digby is he would prefer to make you happy but he simply does not know what you want.   Then there are the other times.  Does he really care, in the least, what you want?

Saturday
Jul072012

Guest  Pets

Meet Daisy, Ollie and Lulu, they put on quite a show!  Talented, sweet and entertaining; loved having them and the two they chose to adopt for family (also known as owners).  Their mom spends many hours training and they obviously want her happy.  These little clowns love to perform.  They had more tricks, but I was too busy enjoying their antics to remember to take photos.   

Digby & Casper looked on with pure disdain!  Through gritted teeth they said “We get treats several times a day and all we have to do is SIT, and only when our person remembers to give that command.  Just look at them showing off !” 

           

 

 

We get to greet guests and look cute but.....we sit really good too.

                                 

 

 

Robert & Julie, proud parents of "The Show Offs" with Daisy & Casper. 

We had a great time, thanks for the memories!    

 

Friday
Jun292012

Tales of Digby & Casper

Chapter 1:  Cinnamon Morning has two dogs, Digby and Casper.  The first chapter is about Digby.  He was five weeks old, his family was moving and had placed all the puppies but him.  A friend called, knowing we were thinking about a playmate for our Llasa Apso, Santo, and asked if we would take him.  Of course, the answer was yes.

It was Balloon Fiesta, not a good time to think of a name or train a puppy.  We decided to have a Puppy Naming Contest.  All Balloon Fiesta guests could submit one name.  The guests were to put their name and the name for the puppy on a piece of paper and put it in the contest basket.  The plan was to pick the name on Monday, following the last day of BF on Sunday.  (We purposely had not said whether we were going to  randomly pick a name or select the one we liked the best.) 

On Monday morning the remaining guests, a family reunion group, were having breakfast.  The youngest was a beautiful, nine year old girl.  She whispered to her mother she wanted us to pick the name before they left.  Actually this was not in the plan, we would have preferred not having an audience.  We all decided random pick could be very bad, so.....started going through each one.  On my, did we have some hearty laughs at some of the names!  None seemed right for this puppy and there were two remaining in the basket.  The next to the last was Diablo, Spanish for devil.  We had Santo, Spanish for saint, finally a possible name, but there was one left.  Digby, we immediately knew it was his name. 

I have forgotten to say what the prize was, a weekend at Cinnamon Morning.

The lovely, nine year old was the winner.  When presented with the Puppy Naming Contest Gift Certificate she said she would use it for her honeymoon.  Digby will be nine this August, 2012.  Maybe that circle will close? 

Chapter 2 - will give you insights into Digby’s insufficiencies. 

Friday
Jun152012

Fresh Mexican Mango Salsa  

We lived for a while in a small village, Quimixto, a short boat ride from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in Banderas Bay. The fruits ripened at the same time; avocados, papaya, mangos and bananas. When you are accustomed to paying a dollar for one avocado there is a frenzy to eat all you can and find as many ways as possible to use the fruits. Then you begin to notice the wisdom of the villagers. They fed this bounty to the pigs, a true environmental recycle. The pigs' diet was largely coconuts, mango, papaya, avacados and bananas resulting in meat that was succulent, tender and unusually flavorful.

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