This Week’s Menu!
August 6th – 12th

I’m not what you’d call a HUGE tomato fan. In fact up until a few years ago the only way I’d eat a tomatoe is if it was a potato.

I like them in tomato sauce and ketchup and salsa.  But if you try to put one on my hamburger I’ll slip it out and slap it on your forehead.

And then one day … I ate a tomato salad.  You know the kind.  Caprese salad.  A slice of tomato, topped with a leaf of basil, a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh cracked pepper and salt.  All topped off with a disk of Buffalo mozzarella.  It’s the Buffalo mozzarella that MAKES the salad.  Once I got rid of the tomato and whipped it at someone’s forehead, the salad tasted great.

I kid.

I ate the tomato in the tomato salad, and it paved the way for a love affair with tomato salads.  I still don’t wanna see a tomato on my sandwich, hamburger, or eggs. And before you ask … no.  Not even a fresh one.

Oh Hey!  Did I mention I planted close to 572 tomato plants in my front yard?  It’s true.  I planted 9 of them.  Which is dangerously close to 572.

They’ve only just started to come into production with the Yellow Pears being the first to start spitting fruit out at me.  I can’t keep up with them.  I give them to the chickens, and my mother and neighbours and other relatives.  I pass them off to strangers walking by.  And still, the vines are full.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do once the 7 other plants start to ripen.

It looks like I might have to get a buffalo.


Recipe Links


Karen’s super delicious POTATO PANCAKES (realllyyyy good served with chili sauce)







  1. Aimee says:

    Sounds like a very tasty week indeed. I’m with you on the tomatoes, though I haven’t had my salad moment yet, so I still hate them outside of ketchup or salsa. 😉

  2. Laura Bee says:

    I thought I might have been adopted as a child. Only one who didn’t survive on toasted tomato sandwiches all summer. Gak.
    p.s. Dinner Tuesday sounds wonderful 🙂

  3. Vere says:

    Am starting to get annoyed with tomatoes too! I live in Sicily and here everyone makes homemade tomato sauce for the winter, so, after washing, peeling, cooking and bottling over 200 kilos of tomatoes, I don’t want to see a tomato for a looong time! your menu sounds yummy, although tortellini in brodo with this heat? seems your a/c unit is working just fine!!

    • Karen says:

      Vere – LOL. I’ve been dying to make it for ages and I think I’ll finally have time that day. If I had been smart I would have grown Romas! I will next year. I still have mounds of sauce from last year anyway. I’ll probably end up canning these whole to use in chili and stuff. You know. Anywhere but on a sandwich. 🙂 ~ karen

  4. Gayla T says:

    What you are going to do with all those wonderful tomatoes is can them. My daughter is getting enough for 4 quarts a day. They are super easy to put up and then when you want to make a nice tomato sauce your tomatoes are already to go. I’d tell you to freeze them but since you have not purchased your stainless steel coffin, you will have to can them. I really like the canned ones best as they are already cooked so you can puree them with one of the little stick blenders and add seasonings and you have sauce. Daughter is putting a hot pepper in the jars for mexican and putting fresh basil and rosemary in the ones for Italian. You will be so proud of yourself when you hear them ping and they look so pretty lined up on the counter as they cool. Putting by for winter is what women have been doing since time began. You will feel so close to the natural scheme of things. It’s kind of like fulfilling your destiny or something but it’s a good feeling. In times not so long ago, if you didn’t do it your family didn’t survive. Talk about a responsibility!

    • Karen says:

      Gayla – You’re right. I am going to can them. But I’m gonna wait until they’re a little more in full swing. I haven’t decided between whole or diced. And you’re right. I do love the ping. LOVE IT. ~ karen

  5. Sue says:

    So. did your stint on the Stylin’ Gypsies ever include substituting as a personal chef? If not, want to try it out for a week at my house? Just bring that ^ menu (except for the potato salad)….

  6. Claire says:

    When you have an overabundance of tomatoes, the best thing to do is think long term (i.e. canning). You could make your own ketchup, salsa, tomato sauce, etc and enjoy the fruits o those 9 plants year round 🙂

  7. Susan says:

    I love tomatoes! The damn chipmunk ate the one tomato that I was cultivating on my one plant! I better stick to pies!:-)

  8. Louise says:

    Oooh, me too. Can’t stand tomatoes in salads, or sandwiches or burgers, yummy in sauces, ketchup and with pasta etc, but also love a tomato mozzarella and basil salad…and once my daddy made me a door stop sandwich with fresh white bloomer bread, lots of butter and just thick sliced buffalo tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt and peeper…amazing!!!!! Never been able to replicate it since….

  9. marilyn says:

    did i hear you say you were giving free tomatoes away? thats strange cuz i dont have any….and i love them any old way…iknow where you live karen..i have ways..

  10. peggy says:

    Yellow Pears are worse than zuchinni, and don’t ever plant any Juliets either. I would try some Smartys, they make a nice plant and you never have to re-plant, they seed themselves. I love tomatoes and cannot understand those who do not but we all have to get along.

  11. Winegirl says:

    I planted 20 tomatoes this year. 20 plants! My fav appliance right now is the dehydrator. Love some “sun-dried” tomatoes in the winter! (and the little vacuum sealed packages make great Christmas gifts.)

  12. Erika says:

    A tasty snack or lunch.
    slice a bagette spread a layer of spreadable goat cheese, a slice of tomato and drizzle a combination of balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top.
    SSSSoooo good!!

  13. Renee says:

    I have had to resort to making sauce already. I have 5 gallons and am afraid to go back to the garden. I have already frightened the neighbors and coworkers with the cucumbers…390# already picked (50+ quarts of pickles put up…).

    • Karen says:

      Holy CRAP! ~ karen

      • Renee says:

        No kidding. Today: we added another 105# of cukes (31# for pickles…). Thanks to Winegirl’s recommendation, made my guy dig out his dehydrator for the day’s tomatoes, so one more batch of sauce and 24hrs to get some dried tomatoes. Tomato sandwich and cucumber salad for lunch.

  14. Anita says:

    I am the weirdo in my family who will not touch a raw tomato. Cook it, grind it up, salsa-fie it, but do not, DO NOT let a raw tomato touch my sandwich.

    But since I’m over the age of 50, I suppose I should try to grow up. So perhaps I’ll try your tomato salad suggestion. Off to Trader Joes to see if I can get some buffalo mozzarlla…

  15. Danee says:

    Tomato time! My favorite time of year I love them straight from the garden, in the garden if I think the neighbors won’t see me making a pig of myself. My Canadian husband thinks I am the anti North American because I HATE KETCHUP! There I said it and I am not ashamed! I planted 12 in the garden this year and they have been coming in for a month. A garden tomato is a thing of wonderous flavor, I haven’t eaten store bought in years. I’ve been asked to a birthday party next week and asked the birthday boy what he wanted and he said me (he’s naughty that way) and my tomatos. He’s getting the tomatos and maybe a miniture flying V guitar that says AC/DC on it.

  16. Jessica says:

    I’m with you on tomatoes on sandwiches, with one spectacular exception: BLTs. So amazing with fresh tomatoes from the garden.

  17. Diane says:

    If you have freezer space, roast some tomatoes for fall and winter. There are all kinds of instructions on the Internet such as

  18. Laura says:

    We had an abundance of tomatoes as well, and I made it my responsibility to turn them all into salsa, which I then put into the deep freeze. I suppose you could can it as well but I was really scared of botulism. Unfortunately my recipe had ZERO measurements a whole lot of guess work. Ahh, the glamorous life of a musician waiting for her next tour.

  19. sera says:

    For 26 years of my life, I hated raw tomatoes. And then one day I had a magical bloody mary. And then the next day I had a perfect caprese salad. Now I eat tomatoes.
    But Karen, the next time you make a caprese salad, you must try adding a layer of nectarines in with the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. I have made this several times for parties and people fall all over themselves over it. Trust me, it’s amazing!

    • Karen says:

      Really? Sounds good. I’ll give it a shot. Why not! Now I wish I’d grown some nectarines. ~ k

      • sera says:

        If you plant a seedling now, you may have a nectarine or two in a couple of years. But apparently they don’t fruit unless you plant two fruit trees together.

        It would sound like too much work but instead I moved into a house that already had a giant cherry that shades my apple and plum trees. I have fruit right now, but I have no idea if they’ll be any good.

        There is always the farmer’s market for these extraneous fruits and vegetables… 🙂

  20. Barbie says:

    I love tomatoes! However we planted 16 plants as every year, but our season has been so slow that I doubt we will get much harvest before the weather changes 🙁 We will see.

  21. Amy says:

    When I was a child, my mom used make us eat at least 5 tomatoes before we could leave the dinner table. Even though I begged and pleaded with her to not grow any more, they came back every year, seeded from the last year’s rotten ones, and she couldn’t stand to waste them. So to this day, I have a really hard time eating them. The funny thing is, in February we moved into a house where the previous owner had tomatoes. So of course they came up. Scads and scads of them. I’ve been giving them away to anyone who’ll take them!

  22. Elaine says:

    Overabundance of fresh tomatoes = Scarpetta fresh tomato sauce. Google it. It is divine. Don’t use any canned tomatoes, just the fresh. Not good canned or left overnight, but the day you make it, it is like heaven. Last time I made it, I used my immersion blender real quick to make the sauce more cohesive. Wish I had some extra tomatoes to whip some up tonight!

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