Having fun with tomatoes
I hear that click and I know what he has been up to ... sneaking through the gate and looking every time I come home with more tomato plants. Oh, yes, he knows where they are hidden, waiting to be planted.
He’s serious. He built more raised garden beds.
Last summer, I beat him by a 1/4 of an ounce in size of tomatoes harvested. He’s never come to terms with that.
He planted tomatoes weeks ago (during the cold and snow). And he laughed at the size of my 2- and 3-inch tall Caspian Pinks. But it won’t be so funny when they grow up and produce 1 1/2–2-pound beauties.
Think I’m talking about my dear husband, Fred, with whom I’ve had tomato-growing wars for the past few summers? Oh, no!
You know who I mean, Gordon. You are the guy that let me know the battle was on before the tulips bloomed.
Then there’s Fred: “Oh Dixie, this year, I’m leaving you to grow the tomatoes. I’ll just plant cucumbers.” Right.
Let’s see, what’s his count? There are six Park Whoppers, two Fantastics and two Better Boys and bags of some new secret ingredient along with his stinky fish emulsion that attracted a bear and a mountain lion to his garden in years past. I’m not kidding, we saw the evidence.
This year I’ve reduced my flower garden to make more room for my new tomato experiments: Hillbilly, Tie Dye and Carol Mini Yellow to go with my old favorites including Caspian Pinks.
I never should have talked with Penny Stine, who writes the Let’s Get Dirty blog at GJSentinel.com, among other things. She’s planting Kellogg Breakfast, Cherokee Chocolate, Kimberly, Virginia Sweet and Fireworks. Many of those are from seed, so I don’t think I have a chance of finding them.
Here’s the scary part: I’ve bragged so about Caspian Pinks that Penny is trying them this year. I’m nervous. What if she doesn’t like them?
At least we’re not battling. We’re just “bonding” over tomatoes.
And now for some humble pie. In my May 1 column, I blended two recipes into one ... whoops! I’m blaming my computer. Here is the correct recipe:
Burger Sliders with Horseradish Bleu Cheese Burger Topping
1/4 cup French’s Horseradish Mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 ounces crumbled bleu cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
12 whole grain slider rolls
4 ounces mixed salad greens
2 small tomatoes, each cut in 6 slices
Combine mustard, mayonnaise, bleu cheese, chives and garlic. Set aside.
Shape ground beef into 12 slider patties.
Grill burgers over medium-high heat about 8 minutes, turning once until juices run clear (160-degrees internal temperature).
Serve burgers on slider rolls, top with salad greens, tomato and slather on bleu cheese topping
POTATO SALAD TIP
What’s a Memorial Day picnic without potato salad? Ever bite into a spoonful of potato salad and hit a bit of egg shell? Yuck!
Purchase brown shell eggs. Those pesky tiny bits of shell will better stand out on white, hard-cooked eggs.
Raspberry Lemonade Chicken
From Jim Shultz, publisher/editor of “Barbecue and Beverages,” 2003.
2 6-ounce cans/bottles raspberry lemonade drink
1 6-ounce can/bottle apple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder ( I use 1 clove minced garlic)
8 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients except chicken in glass bowl. Reserve 1/3 cup. Toss chicken in bowl with rest of marinade. Refrigerate 2–3 hours. Preheat grill to medium/hot. Grill, using indirect heat method. Drizzle reserved sauce over cooked chicken.