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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Too Many Tomatoes??? Never!

I don’t know about you but I’m getting a little nervous about the bounty of tomatoes I may be dealing with in the next couple of weeks. I suppose I went overboard when planting time finally arrived in late Spring. Let’s face it, I planted way too many tomatoes. All kinds of tomatoes! Although, quite frankly, I don’t remember all their names. I know there are grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes and a few sandwich tomato plants.

Garden Tomatoes

In fact, my plan for today was to attempt to chart the plethora of tomatoes available to home gardeners. Well, that’s not happening today! It seems, the varieties are endless and if you start divvying them up into hybrids and heirlooms, Whew, way to much organizing for this tiny brain:) I would love to attempt it one day, but not today:) Instead, I thought I would share some of the recipes I’m considering for harvest time.

Tomatoes % Mozzarella

It might sound crazy but I’m on the road to finding the “perfect” tomato smoothie. You heard me right, lol…When you think about it, the tomato, botanically speaking that is, is a fruit. We all know how yummy smoothies are when they are made with our favorite berry. And yes, tomatoes are actually classified as berries. Doesn’t sound too crazy now, does it? To be sure of my theory, I did a quick search for some Tomato Smoothie recipes:

1. Iced Tomato Smoothie-compared to V8 but “tastes fresher.”
2. Orange Tomato Smoothie
3. Cherry & Grape Tomato Smoothie

I also found one in the tasty cookbook pictured above; Tomatoes & Mozzarella.

Morning Tomato Smoothie Recipe

While I was in search of a tomato based thirst quencher, I came across a rather interesting recipe for Sangrita in my slightly tattered copy of The Art of Mexican Cooking. (notice the spelling is not for Sangria:)

The Art of Mexican Cooking

Real Sangrita from the Lake Chapala region of Jalisco is made with Seville orange and pomegranate juices, with powdered chiles added for heat. (How to Make Sangrita.)

Fresh & Canned Tomato Equivalents

Here’s a recipe for that “Tasty Tequila Companion” from The Art of Mexican Cooking published in 1965.

Sangrita Recipe

Have I mentioned Roma tomatoes, which I usually refer to as “plum” tomatoes? Plum tomatoes are best for sauces, purees, tomato paste, and canning. Who am I kidding, I don’t see me canning tomatoes any time soon:) I do however love the freshness of Summer tomato sauce and freezing tomato paste is a whiz even for lazy ol’ me:)

Roma tomatoes are oval shaped tomatoes that make a great sauce. Roma tomatoes are a rich red flavorful tomato that is good for cooking with or eating raw. The Roma tomato is meaty and full of flesh that is tasty and boils into a sauce that is good for canning. A Roma tomato is a popular type of tomato for Italian sauces. It is also a good tomato for salads.

The Roma tomato is easier to make into tomato sauces than a beefsteak tomato. Romas tend to boil down faster than a salad tomato and have more flesh and less juice that a regular tomato. They also have more flesh and less liquid which makes them the perfect choice for sauces and canning. However, a Roma can be cut up and eaten in salads, sandwiches or raw just like a big boy tomato or a big girl tomato.

Tomato canning is the best way to enjoy the flavors of the best tasting tomatoes and is also one of the best methods of storing tomatoes and preserving the health benefits of tomatoes for up to a year. Cooking does destroy some of the nutritional value of tomatoes. And more vitamins are lost as the storage time lengthens. Still, canned tomatoes will retain about a third of their vitamins.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the History of the San Marzano Tomato, the most “famous” Roma tomato for making sauce. Although San Marzano tomato seeds were brought to America and planted in many states, most say they still don’t taste as delectable as those that are harvested outside of Naples in Italy:)

Spanish Tortilla with Fresh Mozzarella & Saffron Tomato Sauce Recipe

I don’t plan on drying any of my tomato bounty but, if I did, here’s a recipe I would love to try courtesy of Just Dried Tomatoes by Karen Q. Cox published in 1989. The name Karen Cox may sound familiar to some of you. She help promote the dried tomato industry during the 1980s with her innovative product called Just Tomatoes.

The Basics of Dried Tomatoes

The recipes in this book use her product but I’m sure if you made your very own dried tomatoes, the results would be just as good or better!

Dried Tomato Bisque

If you plan on drying tomato slices, you might want to keep this dip in mind. Tomato Chips sound like the perfect diver for it:)

Betcha didn’t know that July is National Horseradish Month! This recipe for Chunky Tomato Horseradish Salsa was harvested from Uncommon Fruits & Vegetables; A Common Sense Guide by Elizabeth Schneider published in 1986.

Chunky Tomato Horseradish Salsa

One book that I find indispensable when it comes to heirloom tomatoes is The Tomato Festival Cookbook by Lawrence Davis-Hollander. Published by Storey Publishing in 2004. If you’re like me and enjoy reading cookbooks like novels, you really should consider this book. The cover gives you just a taste of its contents but it is oh so much more! I’ve included the back cover too so you can see what others have said about it.

The Tomato Festival Cookbook
The Tomato Festival Cookbook

It is 310 pages of pure tomato joy! Not only will you discover the history of The Tomato in Early America,

The Tomato in Early America

But also Seedsman Hall of Famer, Alexander W. Livingston and his “contribution to the creation of the modern tomato.”

Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival

Oh yes, there are recipes and anecdotes too:) If I were to try my hand at canning, this recipe for Canned Tomato Purée would be at the top of my list!

Canned Tomato Puree Recipe
Chances are I’m going to have a couple of green tomatoes just hanging around, lol…Just look at this recipe for Green Tomato Chocolate Cake! Admit it, it’s quite intriguing:)
Green Tomato Chocolate Cake Recipe

Well, it looks like I have my tomato harvest "spoken" for. How about you? I'll be out and about visiting all your delicious blogs tomorrow. I'm pooped! I spent the weekend going to antique car shows because not only am I planning on what to do with my tomatoes, I'm buying a new, old car too! More about that in a later post:) Enjoy Louise:)

If you have a favorite tomato recipe you would like to share, just leave the link or the recipe in the comment section. If I knew how to do a link party I would but alas, not yet. I must thank Alida for this brainstorm, I nearly dove through the screen when I saw here sister Laura's Fresh and Summer Bruschetta!




64 comments:

  1. I can't last a week without tomatoes :) I don't grow them, but I always have some in the fridge :D

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    1. You sound like Marion, Medeja. She insists on buying tomatoes at the grocery store every week. Of course she is patiently waiting for our tomatoes to ripen:)

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  2. I love tomotaoes and cannot get enough of them! Lovely recipes and ideas.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Here here Rosa! I totally agree:) I can't wait to try that smoothie, lol...

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  3. Dear Louise, I don't know where to start reading! I am so excited about your tomatoes...fantastic! I don't have to ask how does your garden grow? I can see your abundance of tomatoes. Your recipes look so intriguing. I really like the Tomato Smoothie. But when I got down to the recipe of Green Tomato Chocolate Cake, that I never heard of in my life. I also saw Alida's post on her sister Luara's recipes, and her tomatoes. What an inspiration...looking forward to seeing more of her sisters goodies. I never did any canning, but your cookbooks and information on the tomato is fascinating to read. There are so many recipes that you can make using tomatoes, I am sure by the time harvest comes, you will have it all planned out. I love a tomato sandwich, thinly sliced tomato, on white bread, (soft) with mayo, salt and pepper. There is nothing like it! Thanks for sharing...blessing on a great week ahead...Dottie :)

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post, Dottie! One of my very best favorite tomato "recipes" is exactly the same as yours with lots of Mayo and black pepper! BLTs are high on my list too!!!

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  4. I am envious of your ripe tomatoes - I am really missing tomatoes now we are in mid winter - even bought a horrid hard tomato recently and regretted it but have had a few cherry tomatoes! I think I will have to give the tomato smoothie a miss (intrigued as I am) and head straight for a green tomato chocolate cake. I will always love some excess veg in a chocolate cake.

    As for your request for tomato recipes, I can offer this tomato salad which I think might actually be a good use for your fresh yoghurt (mine was marinated but given there is a dressing to the salad I don't think it i necessary) - http://gggiraffe.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/river-cottage-veg-tomato-salad-and.html

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    1. Oh I feel your pain, Johanna. I despise Winter tomatoes. Marion insists on buying tomatoes all year long. She may change her mind once we get through all of these though, lol...I do hope you bake that Green Tomato Chocolate Cake! If you do, please share:) How is it that I missed that Tomato Salad? It looks yummy, Johanna. Thanks for sharing...

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  5. i do love sun-dried tomatoes, but fresh, ripe, heirloom tomatoes with a little salt and pepper is just my favorite. i can eat them like apples, juice running right down my chin. :)

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    1. That's what I'm waiting for Grace, eating them like apples and just strolling outside to have a bite! I can not wait!!!

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  6. Oh my gosh, Louise!! So many wonderful ways to use up those tomatoes! I’m hoping to try a few of these wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing! Happy week!

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    1. I'm hoping to try some of them too, Kathy and many more!!!

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  7. Smoothies and chocolate cake?! I'm intrigued as well. I love fried green tomatoes!

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    1. HI Brandi!
      Oh my, I LOVE Fried Green Tomatoes too! I was going to include a recipe but to be honest, I figured everyone already had their favorite one, lol...Thanks for dropping by, Brandi...

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  8. Never too many tomatoes, in my opinion! We always greatly enjoy the bounty! Thank you for all this information, Louise.

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    1. Never, Nellie! Glad you enjoyed this post, Nellie. I hope there is a recipe or two you can enjoy:)

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  9. Some time in the past, some people did think of tomatoes as a fruit, not a veg. My father had a friend who had grown up on a farm in Colorado, and he said they ate garden-fresh tomatoes with sugar and cream! This would have been in the 1920s or earlier. I've never tried it, I think my mouth is too set in its ways to find that acceptable.

    The tomato-based drinks sound very good. I love "red juice" like Trader Joe's garden veg drink (resembles V-8 but not quite the same).

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    1. Hi Mae,
      It seems there has always been a debate as to whether tomatoes are a fruit or vegetable. Some where along the line they were classified as vegetables for commerce purposes. Go figure! The notion of tomatoes with sugar and cream is quite intriguing. almost as much as that Green Tomato Chocolate Cake!

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  10. Good Morning Louise ,
    WOW !!! you are going to have tomatoes to try a lot of recipes and also to make the smoothies , I am sure they will taste better that V8 juice .
    A tomato chocolate cake is a new one on me , anything with chocolate I will try it . The Tomato Festival cookbook is a great , My older sister has one and she swears by the recipes in the cookbook . Louise you can always freeze the extra tomatoes ... winter is coming and what's better than to use tomatoes from your garden , stews and soups , of what fun you will have ,
    Now Marion will take a stroll in the garden ... sweetie , your tomatoes are beautiful and yes you will have a lot of them , some are saying it's all the rain we got . Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Nee,
      I'm so glad to learn your sister has that book, Nee. It really is a terrific book isn't it? Maybe she will share some of the tasty recipes and tidbits, lol...

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  11. Great post and great (and interesting) recipes. I am like you - never enough fresh tomatoes. My garden is loaded with green tomatoes, but not a red one in sight. And if the summer keeps on being so cold here in West Michigan, we won't see a ripe tomato until September. My favorite way to deal with the abundance is to roast them and freeze them.

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    1. Hi Tracy!
      How wonderful to see you again:) Yes, freezing the tomatoes is always an option. One I will certainly consider. I hadn't thought to roast the tomatoes before freezing them. I may just need to try it! Thank you so much for visiting, Tracy. Drop by anytime:)

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  12. We're looking at a bumper crop of tomatoes too! We've harvested some, but have tons more to go. I think we've outwitted the squirrels. So far -- they're crafty. ;-) Loads of good ideas -- thanks for this. Looking forward to hearing about your new old car!

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    1. Hi John,
      We haven't gotten any red tomatoes yet so I'm not sure we're safe from the squirrels. For their sake, I do hope Marion doesn't spy them in the garden, lol...Yes, I'm looking for a new old car but it is a major decision on my part and to put it quite frankly, I want what I want, lol...

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  13. I've made a cake like your Green Tomato cake; it was called Thunder Cake, and uses a ripe tomato. Ryan was just pestering me last night to make it again. I once posted about it, I think; it must be when either Ryan or Mark was in 3rd grade (the recipe came out of their reading book).

    I didn't plant anything this year; life has been happening around me, and I've done nothing extra.

    Enjoy your new old car. I just bought one, too, but not too old: a 2002 Town Car - good daily driver. Dan has my little blue 1995 Cadillac at this time, because his truck is having extensive body work done. (Pickup trucks are stupidly expensive, especially with extended cabs.)

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    1. You really should dig out that Thunder Cake, Marjie. I'd be curious to see if the recipes are similar. I can understand why you didn't plant anything this year. Not to worry, we have plenty!!!

      A Town Car, oh my. I'm looking for something a wee bit older than that. Most likely something from the 30s or 40s, lol...We'll see:)

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  14. I love tomatos and Im agree! Never is enough!
    This year we are so lucky because you know we are in winter but we still have lovely tomatos.I think coming by the north (more sun and warm weather)
    Love yours pics and draws are cute!
    I will answer soon your mail.
    I saw jusy now!
    xo

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    1. Lucky you to have yummy tomatoes in Winter Gloria. For some reason we just never seem to get the tomatoes from Florida in the Winter time. So glad you enjoyed this post Gloria. I haven't checked my email yet but, I will!!!

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  15. Looks like you are well on the way to a great tomato harvest. Not sure how mine will go this year. They are tall and flowering but have no fruit yet (been so cold) and have some type of disease causing the lower leaves to spot, yellow and die. Let us know if you perfect that tomato smoothie--though I am not sure I will join you in one!

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    1. Hi Inger,
      So sorry to hear about your tomatoes. It sounds like you might be watering them from the top rather than underneath. If they aren't totally dead, you still may get fruit. The plants may look like heck but the fruit should be fine. Let us know:) I'll be working on that smootjie for sure!

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  16. The only thing aside from leaving my family I missed when I moved is our garden...congrats on the bountiful harvest!!

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    1. Thank you Angela. So glad to hear your family came for a visit to your new paradise:)

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  17. Louise, I am so jealous of the tomato crop you harvested! We were stricken with horn worms and barely had any tomatoes. The little cheery tomatoes were bountiful at first, then started cracking. Maybe next year. Don’t know if I could drink a tomato smoothie but I see lots of other delectable you are tempting me with!

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    1. So sorry to hear about those hornworms, Tina. I do a nightly inspection in the garden to make sure they haven't devoured the crop to shreds! There is an organic solution that works on the hornworms. I usually just pick them off when I can find them. They are difficult to spy because they match the color of the plants! Maybe next year:) I plan on working on that smoothie but I have a feeling by the time I'm done it will be more like a Bloody Mary, lol...

      Love that recipe you posted for Tomato and Mozzarella Salad!

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  18. Lucky you. You are going to have a lot of beautiful tomatoes. In my book, you can never have too many tomatoes.

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  19. Hi ~~Louise~~....
    Before I comment on your oodles of tomatoes...
    Your previous post..of your garden...is FANTASTIC!
    Those Lilies are amazing....great job!
    How are you feeling...better?
    Enjoy your tomato crop...I have the small yellow ones....DEELISH!
    Enjoy your week...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Thanks Linda...I'm so glad you enjoyed the Garden Tuesday post. It was such fun to share:)

      I am feeling much better. Thanks for asking...You do the same, Linda...

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  20. Green Tomato Chocolate Cake??? I've never even heard of it.. I'll rectify that!!! Love this post. I miss PA tomatoes.. Love all these cookbooks and recipes. Time to add more to the shelf. LOL!

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    1. I had a feeling you would, Janet. Just let us know when you bake it. We all want a sample, lol...

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  21. I wish we were close enough to help you with your potential problem. The Knight and I both love fresh tomatoes and yet, our little wooded haven is not conducive to such growth. Even if it was, the deer would devour them first!

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    1. Come on up, Channon!!! and bring the Knight and the girls!!! Have you tried planting a tomato plant in a pot? There are many varieties that grow just fine in a pot. You might be able to keep the deer away from it too:)

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  22. Hi Louise,

    Too many tomatoes??? Never for us too. However, we didn't have a large gardening space like yours and we have to grow our tomatoes plants in pots or close to our letter box :p Poor Aussie postman... It must be hard to find our letter box. LOL!

    Are you going to make lots of tomatoes dishes this summer??? The spicy creamy dip sounds really yummy!

    Zoe

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    1. Oh that's funny, Zpe. Perhaps he won't mind so much if you give him a tomato once in a while, lol...Yes! I plan on making lots of tomato dishes this Summer. I just wish the darn things would turn red already!!!

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  23. I agree you can never have too many delicious tomatoes :D
    AND omg I am absolutely in love with the cake, what a great idea!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. I may just have to try it, Uru! It is intriguing!!!

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  24. I love tomatoes right from the garden. They taste like tomatoes should. I see a bunch of recipes above, I would love to make except the green tomato chocolate cake which I can't quite wrap my head around. The rest are amazing looking and sounding and I want them in my kitchen. Thanks Louise for another wonderful post.

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting, Chya. I agree, tomatoes are best in hand right from the garden. I know that cake took me by surprise too. I may just bake it!!! So glad you enjoyed your visit:)

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  25. I've never tried tomato smoothies, but coming from you....... it must be delicious. I love chilled tomato cocktail & adding seafood into them. Try it!

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    1. I've never tried them either, Shirley but on plan on it. I'll let you know my conclusion when I do, lol...Chilled Tomato Cocktail with Seafood is definitely yummy, Shirley. I'll remember:)

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  26. I'm so jealous of your tomato harvest! Sounds like you're going to have a lot of fun. I'd love to try the tomato smoothie that's like a frozen V8.

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    1. I'm going to have a blast Lisa!!! A frozen tomato smoothie? Hmmmm...that's a good thought:)

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  27. Hi Louise,
    OMG, I'm SO ENVIOUS of your bountiful tomatoes!
    Am so jealous that you could grow them really well over there. My two roma tomatoes plants are not doing well at all. New flowers are growing, but I don't think that they will make it to full bloom! So disappointing!
    Lovely tomato recipes you have here. The Green Tomato Chocolate Cake sounds interesting!
    Happy Harvesting your tomatoes, Louise!

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    1. So sorry to hear about your tomatoes, Joyce. Do they have some sort of disease? If you think it has anything to do with watering, perhaps you should try placing them in a plastic bag, like a hot house:)

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  28. Oh I wish I had your problem. It is hard to grow tomatoes here in gray, drizzle NW. Especially on my shaded property. So enjoy for me!! Clarice

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    1. Ypu are more than welcome to share in the bounty, Clarice:)

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  29. Louise, I would gladly take some tomatoes off your hands ;D I admit, I love to garden...I do it every year but I never get too much. I don't have a green thumb, I'll be the first to admit it, but something about the process of being outside in the garden I find therapeutic. It just relaxed me :) ...for the moment ;)

    A tomato smoothie sounds like a very interesting idea....although hey, everyone loves a Bloody Mary so why not?!

    I saw in your last comment about the blogroll. I've actually gotten quite a few comments about it. I know it's not working, and I have not yet figured out why. I adjusted the feedburner a few days back, but I'm sure if that were the case, it would be working by now. I'm going to look into it further and will let you know when I do, so you can tell me if you are getting the updates from your end. It's been crazy for me at the moment to really take a good look into it, because we've been working on blog design. Thank you for informing me Louise, and if LTG suddenly starts updating itself on blog reader, let me know! :)

    Have a fabulous day.

    xo,
    Tammy<3

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    1. I'll be sure and bring some tomatoes down to Long Island with me Tammy if I get down there this Summer. Fingers crossed:) Thanks for letting me know about the reader. I just subscribed by email because it still doesn't seem to be working. I'm sure this changeover has been quite over whelming. You did a GREAT job Tammy!!!

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  30. Hi Louise! I just wanted to let you know that I fix the feed, so you should get updated just like before when we put up a new post!

    Have lovely day,
    Tammy<3

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  31. You really can't have too many to atoes. Tomato chutney and tomato relish - yum!

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  32. Hello again Louise!! ;)

    So I responded to your comment on our blog, but then realized who might not be able to read it! LOL...silly me.

    Anyway, the headaches building this website has given me...oy vey. But I digress.

    ...A blueberry bush would be lovely to have. I just suggested to my mom that we plant a cherry tree. Oh those are so beautiful and we only have on tree left after the past hurricanes we've been hit with.

    In regards to the comment box, I checked the backlog and everything looks to be fine. The site is loading white on black for me and my friend. However, my mom's computer was experiencing the exact same issue that you are having - white text on a white background. I had to empty her internet cache and once I refreshed the site, everything loaded correctly. I know that sounds very techy but basically, it's just cleaning out your browsing history. I'm not sure which search engine you are using, but if you know what I'm talking about, let me know! :)

    Take care,
    Tammy<3

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  33. Louise the place where you live is so beautiful! That field with sunflowers is just incredible. I rarely see images like that in my region in Northern Italy. You need to go more down towards Tuscany. Beautiful simply.
    Love that old and posh American car. You don't see many of those in Europe. And so many gorgeous tomatoes and fresh summer vegetables! The weather there must be very hot and sunny to get such fab veggies!
    Hope you are having a lovely summer and thanks for the mention :-) grazie grazie!

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  34. hi louise, i think you are making everyone jealous with our tomato harvest! I hv never tried tomato smoothies but i like tomato juice. Make juice, make juice, Louise! haha.....It is interesting to know how people are supposed to drink sangrita...extra hands needed? hehe...yeah, if we just have a couple more of that sangrita, i think we will see not just 3 hands, maybe 3 legs too !

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

Thanks for dropping in...Louise