April 23, 2013
Viola Brown from La Pointe, Ind., was looking for a good and easy recipe for making tomato basil soup. She said she is 82 years old and has a hard time finding things she still likes to eat. It's not surprising that she would be in search of a recipe for homemade tomato soup, as it's a classic comfort food no matter what the season. Jenny Garcia from Santa Rosa, Calif., shared a recipe that she and her husband came up with that she said was inspired by a similar recipe in the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.
October 26, 2003
What's the correct way to rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes? Previously, I just soaked them in water and used them in my recipe, but they tasted bitter -- not at all like the sweet, juicy, plump tomatoes I've tasted in restaurant dishes. Thanks for your help. Unless you buy your sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, they will need to be rehydrated with liquid. A rule of thumb is to cover sun-dried tomatoes with warm water and soak for two hours at room temperature. You can get a feel for how long they should soak by feeling how flexible they are -- the stiffer they are, the longer they should soak.
October 7, 2013
As I contemplate the state of my government with sadness and anger, what a treat it was to read Susan Reimer 's article on heirloom tomatoes ( "They aren't heirloom unless your grandmother gave them to you," Oct. 2). My husband and I have been relishing these gems for the past two months. Eating an heirloom tomato on fresh bread slathered with mayonnaise will bring joy to the hardest of hearts. One realizes that there is something greater out there that transcends the mundane.
July 23, 2010
There is no summer experience quite like a stop at your favorite roadside stand for Maryland tomatoes and corn. This week, we stopped on Route 16 in Caroline County, a few miles short of Denton, and filled a car. In the four days following, I polished off a whole watermelon. The stop reminded me of the day my brother Eddie decided to set up his own little market on the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach, Del. It was about 50 years ago, in the days when families spent entire summers at the ocean.
August 28, 2013
"So, it looks like Farmer Emma is offering some extra tomatoes this week at the CSA," I said to my husband. "Can you grab a few while you are picking up our share at Moon Valley?" I kind of wish I had read Emma Williams' email to our CSA group a little more closely. In addition to our quart of tomatoes (and loads of vegetables), she was offering everyone another five pounds of tomatoes. I didn't realize how many that was until they were sitting in a colander on the kitchen countertop.
August 16, 2013
How can I keep squirrels off my tomatoes? A very simple old-fashioned way to discourage animals, including deer, from taking a bite out of your tomatoes is to sprinkle a little lime on the fruits. Use powdered agricultural lime. It washes off easily when you harvest. You'll have to reapply after rains, so don't overdo the lime because you don't want to raise your soil pH too high. This method also can be useful on a short term basis to keep deer from eating foliage. My hedge has gotten completely bare at the bottom over the years.