Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Short Walk to the Tomato

When Marion and I returned from our journey to Danville, we were both pooped. It had been a long couple of days and nourishment, rudely ignored, was not a priority. Neither of us really felt like cooking and yet, we were both in need of just a little something to hold us over until morning's breakfast. Marion decided to retire to her room to slip into something a bit more comfortable while I strolled into the garden to see what damage, if any, had been done in our absence. Thankfully, "everyone" seemed to be holding their own. The Nasturtiums, my faithful greeters didn't let me down.

The Gladiola's were glad to see me as were the gallant Dahlias. We've recently spied a hummingbird in the garden which makes me think I'm not the only visitor they welcome. (my hummingbird pictures are still under construction:)

As I meandered by my Mammoth Sunflower, I offered a smiling gaze to my new BFF, Gazania (best friend flower) and quickly spied the one and only vegetable plant in the garden this year; the Beefsteak Tomato, fruited and waiting to be plucked. That's it I thought, dinner!

I ran in the house to fetch Marion. She just had to be there to celebrate our first tomato. Marion hasn't been feeling well the last couple of weeks but our trip to Danville reassured us that she will be as fit as a fiddle in no time. I convinced her to make the journey to the lonely tomato plant and although she was a bit camera shy for the occasion, the smile on her face was all I needed to pluck that baby!!!

I considered saving this picture for next month because as we all know, August is Goat Cheese Month but it was just too bright and fresh to let get "stale." I found the inspiration for this recipe over at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice. Reeni prepared her Fried Goat Cheese Salad with a Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing. Marion can't eat anything that contains seeds so I simply prepared the Fried Goat Cheese and layered it on top of crisp iceberg lettuce (a personal favorite of Marion's) and a healthy slice of our garden tomato. A quick spray of balsamic vinegar, a few crumbles of Greek basil (I always plant basil with tomatoes:) and we were set. Not as pretty as Reeni's but oh so delicious and, it hit the spot!

The Rest of the Week

Courage is grace under pressure.
Ernest Hemingway

July 21st

July 21st is *National Junk Food Day! Whether you agree or not, there's just no denying it, everyone I know has at least one "naughty" food they crave. What's yours?

It's National Lamington Cake Day in Australia! What? You've never heard of Lamingtons? Quite honestly, neither had I until I happened upon the recipe in Cakes published by The Reader's Digest Association. It's a great big book with gorgeous pictures of every kind of cake my little brain can imagine. Here's what it says about Lamingtons. Unfortunately, there is no picture for them. The space was taken by a scrumptious looking Collard Red Currant Cake; oh goodness:)

Lamingtons are an Australian cake named after Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland, who on January 1, 1901, read the proclamation that made Western Australia part of the Commonwealth of Australia...

thanks wiki

In my travels there were an amazing number of recipes praising The Humble Lamington. Stef over at the Cupcake Project did a wonderful job re-inventing "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits"; cupcake style:) I found a recipe for Lemon Meringue Lamington over @Not So Humble Pie that looks absolutely heavenly! Ms. Humble happens to be celebrating her birthday with a CSN give-away. Drop by before the 26th for a chance to win! Just one more Lamington note before we get on to our next celebration. The world famous Australian Lamington was 100 years old on December 19, 2001. Although no one is quite sure who "invented" it, it seems the Australian Lamington Official Website celebrated. (I feel a tasteful invention post stirring for next year:)

I'm not sure what the National Baby Food Festival entails but, it begins today!

July 22nd

Happy Birthday Mae! Shame on me, I haven't visited Mae's Food Blog in days. I'll be going on over to wish her a Happy Birthday for sure today!

National Penuche Fudge Day! (As if we need even more sweets this month:)

Zuni Breadstuff (© 1920) author Frank Hamilton Cushing was born on July 22, 1857.

July 23rd

From the Brooklyn Eagle online:

On This Day in History: July 23
Debut of the Coney Island Hot Dog
It may not have been called by that name at the time but Charles Feltman, a German immigrant who had a small stand at the corner of East New York and Howard avenues in Brooklyn introduced the hot dog on July 23, 1889 by putting a boiled sausage in an oblong roll. He moved his stand to Coney Island later and his sandwich became known as the “Coney Island Hot.”

Hot Dogs, now ice cream cones? According to most accounts, the ice cream cone made its official debut at the St. Louis World's Fair on July 23, in 1904. However, the history of the ice cream cone has many many unanswered questions beginning with Mrs. Agnes Marshall. What the heck, have an ice cream cone today just because, July 23rd also happens to be National Vanilla Ice Cream Day!

The thirty second annual Gilroy Garlic Festival begins today. One of these days, I will be there!

July 24th

*Alexandre Dumas birth anniversary:)

It's National Tequila Day! Tequila is one of my favorite "beverage" cooking ingredients. Apparently, Annie likes it too. Take a gander at her Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken. Yum! And, just take a look at these Tequila-Soaked Watermelon Wedges. Remember, July is National Watermelon Month:)

Wishing everyone a delectable week. See you Sunday beginning with, National Salad Week and National Hot Fudge Sundae Day! Enjoy! Louise:)


  1. LOVE the dahlia best of all... except for the tomato. There's nothing like a fresh from the garden tomato!

    Thank you for explaining why I've been craving margaritas all month. I'm generally a white wine kinda' gal, but I suppose the month that holds Tequila Day is powerful! ;)

    You weren't down here, in "my" Danville, were you?!

  2. that goat cheese salad looks yummy! Do you eat your nasturiums? (I'm sure that's spelled wrong.) g

  3. What wonderful flower pictures! Love your tomato. I hope our replacement tomato plants don't get eaten; I saw 4 deer in the yard yesterday, and Thor just sat there looking at them as if to say, "So what?"

    Junk food? Potato chips and cheese curls are addictive. I call them "potato crack" and "cheese crack."

    Glad you had a good road trip.

  4. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! I can't even guess how you knew. I should have known it was Junk Food Day today -- that is what they sell at the Ann Arbor Art Fair and what I photographed.

    Mae of maefood.blogspot.com

  5. National Penuche Fudge Day, oh my. What better reason to celebrate? My hips are already bracing themselves...

    I"m so jealous of your garden!

  6. Your garden is gorgeous! Try as I might I can never grow sunflowers. They always get eaten by one animal or another before they get more than a foot tall. You took the salad to new heights with your garden fresh tomato! Thanks for the shout out! Junk food? Candy.

  7. Nasturtiums were my mother's favorite, Louise! Brought back memories. We used to find them at one particular roadside stand and always brought a bouquet of them home with us.

  8. Beautiful photos! The fried goat cheese salad looks amazing too.

  9. Louise absolutely lovely and georgeous pictures, I love gardens with a lot of flowers, I have a lot of roses but now are sleeping, you know because we are in winter but in the spring are georgeous,I think the flowers is a gift's God.
    Thanks by sharing, gloria

  10. Beautiful garden and one of the best salads ever made.

  11. I'm SO jealous Louise! The first beefstake tomato picked already! ;) Another week or so & hopefully we'll be picking too. Hope you are having a wonderful summer gf! I love your nasturtiums! The chipmunks ate most of mine :( Thanks also for the peachy ice cream link.. I'm making it tonite! It looks heavenly.

  12. What fabulous photos..and goat cheese salad is always a favorite. Last year for Nat'l Tequila Day..something wrong with that?.. I posted a recipe for Chocolate Tequila Mousse. Very simple.

    I'm thinking about some goat cheese chocolate recipes for August. There's a new chocolatier..well new in that he uses goat's milk/cheese in his chocolates. Have to find his card. Tasted them at the Food Show last Jan.

    Have a great weekend! You find such fun reasons to celebrate food!

  13. What pretty flowers! that salad sounds so good. Laminghtons are so delicious.



  14. I too adore Dahlia's Channon but yes, the tomato was the star that evening:) Oh how I wish I was visiting "your" Danville but no, we have a Danville here in PA too. It's the home of an excellent medical center.

    Thanks gMarie and welcome:) Yes, I do munch on the nasturtium leaves every now and again

    Thanks Marjie. I have high hopes for your replacement tomato plants. Don't forget to try the spray! I'm a borderline Junk Food type "gal." Thank goodness I gave up "potato crack" and "cheese crack" long ago.

    Not to worry Mae. I'm not stalking you. I noted your birthday a while back for Pi-Day. What? No cherries at the fair. Michigan has the best cherries ever!!!

    Oh Kate please don't be jealous of the garden. You live amongst the most beautiful Poppy in the world, The Remembrance Poppy.

  15. Thank YOU! Cinnamon-Girl. I had trouble growing Sunflowers until I learned a secret. Plant them in their own container, a deep one, so you can move them around when those pesky intruders come along. The salad was delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe:)

    I'm delighted you enjoyed the Nasturtiums Barbara. Have you ever tried to pickle the seeds? Some call them Poor Man's Capers. For such unassuming flowers, they sure do bring a lot to the table, including warm memories.

    Thanks Pam The salad was dee..licious!

    Hi Gloria and welcome! Roses are another favorite of mine. I don't have any yet in the new house but I'm thinking of finding some old fashioned roses, you know, the ones that actually smell:) We'll see how that goes. A gift from God indeed:)

    Thanks Courtney. The salad was so delightful! I'm loving your new website, good for you!

    Hi YankeeSoaper! Hope all is well with you and yours:) I must tell you, we watched that tomato for what seemed like weeks before we got our first pluck! But, you know how that goes, after the first they just keep on coming, thankfully:) I do hope you will be sharing some peachy ice cream with us:) The chipmunks tried to get to my nasturtiums too but I just moved the container around. After a while, they go back to the bird feeders:)

    Chocolate Tequila Mousse, Janet? Where? I must find that post! I can't wait to see what chocolate goat cheese creations you whip up next month!

    Next time, I'm going to garnish the salad with a few Nasturtium flowers. And yes, Rosa there will be a next time for that salad! Have you ever done a Lamington post? I'd love to see it.

  16. What beautiful pictures from your garden - they put a smile on my face. Tomato pictures can easily be shown twice - and I never knew that next month was National Goat Cheese Month. Phew - so out of touch. That salad by the way looks amazing

  17. I just love flowers....my favorite has to be the Sunflower...I loved seeing fields of them in France....great images!! And that Goat Cheese salad sounds delicious!!
    thanks so much for sharing!

  18. mmm, lamingtons. i love australia for many reasons, and that's certainly one of 'em!
    and boy-o, i'm craving your tomato preparation--it looks magnificent!

  19. What a perfect way to celebrate the first tomato of summer. Simple and elegant! And, I'm loving that sunflower - they're a particular favorite of mine.

  20. Your tomatoes are triving, Louise!!
    I also have yellow home grown tomatoes, red cherry tomatoes & red chili peppers & green bell peppers!

    Your flowers look so pretty too!


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise