Our garden has given us big, beautiful tomatoes this summer. And we are thankful. 🙂 We’re now sharing lots of them with friends and looking up ways to cook/store/freeze these ‘pommes d’amour’ to make them last just a little longer.

More tomato goodness:

10 Fun Facts about Tomatoes from The Chef’s Garden

Our favorite Tomato Pie can be found at Wildflower Café in Mentone. Moon, the owner, is one of a kind!

 

Here's a recipe we created inspired by Wildflower's...

SUMMERTIME TOMATO PIE

You’ll Need:
4-5 Fresh Garden Tomatoes (Red & Yellow), Sliced Thick
1 1/2 cups Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Baked Pie Shell
1/2 cup light Mayonnaise & 1/4 cup light Sour Cream
3/4 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
3/4 cup grated Mozzarella Cheese
2 tablespoons fresh chopped Basil

To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Marinate sliced tomatoes in vinaigrette for 30 minutes and drain
3. Layer tomatoes in baked pie shell and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Combine mayo, sour cream, cheese and basil in separate bowl and spread on top of tomatoes.
5. Bake 30 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool for a bit. Cut into slices and serve warm with a fresh green salad on the side.

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‘shroom! ‘shroom!

These afternoon thunderstorms have been good for our pastures, but they’ve also been great for the woods! And after a few rainy days…if you get lucky…you may just find the much-coveted chanterelle mushrooms. Our neighbors showed us how to hunt for them a couple of years back and last weekend the back woods were sprinkled with these golden beauties. Mike spotted them first, but I leaped out of the ATV to pick as many as I could before his patience wore out (which it did 😀 ). We shared the beautiful chanterelles with friends and sautéed some for burgers last night. Tonight they’ll go on a salad. Carol used hers for a pizza. Jay ate some raw, and Megan sent a link showing how to preserve them for the months ahead. It’s so fun sharing Nature’s gifts when you get the chance. See more recipe ideas here and here.

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A Pot O’ Honey

“Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.”
― David Foster Wallace

We’re celebrating the two-year anniversary of our honeybees in the most fabulous way — with a second harvest! Life with bees has been a magical mystery ride, that’s for sure. Just when you think you know a few things, they show how you really know so little. Kind of like horses. : ) Anyway, last weekend we felt like Winnie the Pooh…just couldn’t keep our hands out of the honeypot as we spun and bottled 2.5 gallons of the most gorgeous golden honey. A special shout-out to our neighbor Charlie, who has been the patient bee teacher, mentor and occasional swarm-catcher. Here are some *sweet* moments from those first two harvests. A limited supply is available now in the Mercantile. Thank you, bees!

 

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Eggs, Glorious Eggs

The warmer days have gotten our chickens excited and moving into high production mode. Even senior hen Maizie has started laying her popular, pale blue eggs again. Nothing makes us happier than collecting, eating and sharing glorious fresh farm eggs. Thank you, ladies!

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Comfort & Cheer

While we wait out this deep freeze down South, we’ve been playing with recipes that warm the body and soul. This drink is so nice, we made it thrice. : ) To make your nights and time by the fireplace a little bit warmer, here’s a fine little recipe for Winter Spiced Wine.

Winter Spiced Wine

Gather

4 cups spiced apple cider (we love Trader Joe’s)

1 bottle hearty red wine, like a Cabernet

1/3 cup honey

2 cinnamon sticks

Fresh zest of 1 orange

Fresh-squeezed juice of 1 orange

5-10 whole cloves

Pinch of whole allspice

4-5 star anise/whole

Orange peel for garnish

Make

Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Pour into warmed mugs and top with orange peel. Drink up, warm up!

 

Recipe (slightly) adapted from Ina Garten

 

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