Fresh Tomato Pie=Garden Satisfaction


Our garden is, thus far, holding up to the 100 degree weather this week. Our water bill, however, may put us in the poor house. I’d do a rain dance if I honestly thought it would help.

Despite the depressingly oppressive heat, we are enjoying the fruits of our (ahem…my husband’s) labor. I made a tomato pie this weekend, and it was so good, even my gaggle of picky eaters loved it. Fresh tomatoes, cheese, mayonnaise and pie crust…what’s not to like?

Fresh Tomato Pie

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  • 2 pounds (approximately) tomatoes, thinly sliced (I used the Roma from my garden)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 9-inch deep dish pie crust (you can use the frozen kind, or make your own if you are so enterprising)

Preparation

  1. 1. Prebake pie crust according to package directions. Set aside, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2. Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Don’t be a lazy bum and skip this step. If you do, you will end up with a soggy pie that is short on flavor.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, sauté onion and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper in hot oil in a skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until onion is tender.
  4. 4. Pat tomatoes dry with a paper towel. Layer tomatoes, onion, and basi in prepared crust, seasoning each layer with pepper (1 tsp. total). Stir together cheeses and mayonnaise; spread over pie.
  5. 5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, shielding edges with foil to prevent excessive browning. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

California Dreaming

The past week has been incredible, for both me and the Heathens. My parents flew us to San Francisco for vacation, and it was a rip-roaring adventure from start to finish.

Despite living in California for many years as a child, this was one area I never had the opportunity to see, so I was understandably excited about exploring another side of the state I practically grew up in. The prospect of temperatures under 97 degrees didn’t hurt either. Furthermore, the Heathens had never ventured outside of our tri-state area, so this trip also represented a slew of new milestones for them, including their first plane ride, train ride and exposure to a little concept called “toll bridges.”

“What do you mean we have to pay money to drive down the road??”

 

We saw some amazing things:

Including some places that the Heathens personally selected. Like the Pez Museum (*sigh*):

And the House of Air trampoline park:

Pay close attention to Rule #10

In between the Heathen-directed activities, we squeezed in a whale watch:

Museums:

And plenty of good food:

I even managed to find a local yarn shop, which I am embarrassed to admit put a nice dent in my expendable income. Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of some of our more hilarious adventures…like the time we ended up in a back alley in Chinatown so Bear could see how fortune cookies were made. Or, the moments when my mom and I had anxiety attacks driving on streets so steep, I nearly threw up just riding down them.

Traveling with Bean was a challenge:


But it went better than I hoped, thanks to the power of the Ergo:

If there is one thing I took away from this trip, other than the bucketful of memories, it’s that I really want my kids to have more opportunities to travel to new places and see new things. I was blessed as a child to travel across the country, on road trips, plane trips and everything in between. I bounced between Louisiana, Los Angeles, and Ohio, and saw everything from Niagara Falls to the Grand Tetons. I think the adventures of traveling not only build lasting memories, but also help kids open their minds by showing them true diversity.

So, we’re home again…and about 10 seconds after we got home, G-Man got a virus, Bear broke out in some type of allergic reaction, and we found out Bean is anemic. So, our house is a den of fever, rashes and other gross stuff you don’t want to hear about.

Home!

We just got back from our vacation in San Francisco! I’ll post more soon, but between the unpacking, the cleaning and G-Man catching a stomach virus about five seconds after we got home, I need a vacation from my vacation. I have plenty of antics to report, from adventures with the TSA, to how my mom and I ended up in back alley in Chinatown. Stay tuned, because I’ll get it together after I have a bath…and a drink…and maybe another drink…

Leaving on a Jetplane…

In a couple of days, the Heathens and I will be flying to northern California for vacation, and to hang with my parents. My poor husband can’t go, because he has too much going on at work this month, especially after taking off a few weeks for Bean’s birth.

I’m sure I’ll have plenty of hijinks to report, as the Heathens take their first plane ride, see their first mountain and experience the world outside of our small Louisiana town. I’m also sure the TSA will be thoroughly entertained by our circus, as I try to get two kids, a baby, a stroller, a car seat, various carry-on luggage and myself through the security line. Luckily, they sell cocktails in airports…lots and lots of cocktails…

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to get Bean ready for the trip. Since we’ll be going to an area that is much cooler (and windier) than our current 95 degrees, she needs warm clothes. I’ve found a few things in the clearance sections, but finding a warm hat in Louisiana, in June, proved to be too much of a challenge. I finally surrendered and knitted her one:

It’s not perfect, but it will keep her noggin covered.

I start the packing odyssey today, so send chocolate…and margaritas…and positive traveling mojo.

Trying Not to Poke Myself in the Eye

When my husband went to Boston earlier this year, he brought back this tweed yarn with the request that I knit him some socks. At the time, double-pointed needles were far above my knitting skill set, so this has been sitting in my stash for months. We have a big anniversary coming up in July, and I decided that it was finally time to tackle the socks. As you can see, progress is slow going, especially since I can only work on these when he isn’t home, lest I spoil the surprise.

Just so you know, juggling that many needles at once is not for the eternally clumsy. I fear that before these socks are through, I may be the first person in my town to need medical attention for a knitting injury.

Kung Fu Fighting

Bean doesn’t like it if I try to take her picture when she is in a bad moon.

Oh no…here come the Hulk hands…

I bet she’s thinking, “Back off lady, now is NOT the time.”


“Seriously, you’re going to make me angry…you won’t like it when I get angry”


“Say hello to my little friend!”


“It’s on like Donkey Kong now!”


But then I feed her, and we are cool again. She’s easily bribed, this one.

Just So You Know…

  • I hate waiting on cream cheese to soften.
  • I hate putting pillowcases on pillows. Don’t get me wrong, I love my pillowcases, and my OCD even demands I have two pillow cases on each of my pillows. I just hate the actual act of putting the case on the pillow.
  • I hate it when people open their car doors at intersections to spit on the street.
  • I hate hard plastic packaging that requires scissors, a jackhammer and a pound of C-4 to open before you can free your newly purchased item from its’ clutches.
  • I hate that my glasses fogged up when I walked outside this morning, and it’s not even July yet.
  • I hate that I can’t go to the store without forgetting something, even when I have a list. I somehow develop selective blindness while in the store and pass over at least three crucial items I need for the week.
  • I hate whoever keeps littering in our yard, and wish I could magically electrify the sidewalk to zap them every time they throw their drink cups, food wrappers and cigarette butts in my grass.
  • I hate being grouchy, so I’m going to have a cocktail and get in a better mood.
  • The end.