Saturday, August 9, 2008


Tomatoes are in Season! Don't miss them!

Pork Chops & Applesauce:
A Collection of Recipes and Reflections

Pork Chops & Applesauce is a sweet journey back to the past that's sure to tug on your heartstrings. Recipes for good old fashioned food combine with tales shared will make everyone want to gather around the dinner table.

The story below titled, Don't Miss 'em is a sample of what's inside this reminiscent collection of growing up in the 50s & 60s and then raising a family during the 70s & 80s. Each fun-filled story is served with a big plate of delicious comfort food.

For just $18.00 each (includes S&H in US) you can get your copy of Pork Chops. Simply send your request to along with shipping information. Cynthia will personally answer your e-mail. Checks, money orders and requests for books can be sent to:

Pork Chops & Applesauce
P.O. Box 5226
Kingwood, Texas 77325-5226


Tomatoes are in season until late September. Don't miss 'em!

“Bob, slow down! Now get ready to pull over! There’s a stand around the next corner. We can’t miss it!” Mom chirped at Dad in the front seat of our 1961 Pontiac, Bonneville.

“Oh hell! Don’t you already have enough tomatoes to keep you canning for a week?” Dad asked. It was their usual tomato season banter. Dad took it all in his stride never loosing the pipe puffing momentum he’d mastered so well.

My brother and I whined from a dusty back seat while we were zigzagging over curvy country roads in search of Beefsteaks, Romas and Early Girls. Each sign that read FRUIT in bold red letters brought renewed hope of finding the juiciest, freshest, plumpest, and the lowest-priced tomatoes. Tomatoes seemed to be Mom’s weakness or her passion - I never really figured out which was the case.

When Mom couldn’t persuade Dad to go fruit stand hopping with her, she’d round up my grandmother and I and we’d once again wind through the valley roads. I began enjoying the outings by the time I reached my pre-teen years, and later as a young adult I looked forward to the yearly event.

In looking back I think it may have been the Norman Rockwell atmosphere of the road-side fruit stands that called out to Mom. Perhaps the rustic little sheds that popped-up at the end of long dirt driveways recaptured a slice of yesterday that Mom longed to preserve. Sadly the laid back down-home ambiance of small, family-owned fruit and vegetable farms are for the most part merely a ghost of the past.

Thoughts of our tomato hunting adventures came back to me last week when the Heatwave and Big Boy tomato plants just outside my kitchen door began producing a bumper crop of the juicy jumbos. Last spring I planted an assortment of tomatoes plants mostly as an experiment to see what types of tomatoes produce well in my area of the Southwest. To my delight the experiment was a success.

Once again I’m enjoying the simple pleasure of having fresh tomatoes at my doorstep. The days of putting up pints of home-canned tomato sauce and catchup are behind me, but I took full advantage of these red beauties by making Cindy’s Favorite Marinated Tomatoes. It’s a recipe I’ve made for years and honestly can’t remember from where it originates. It’s sure to make your taste buds sing, but only if home-grown or heirloom tomatoes are used – anything else just won’t cut it.

Tomatoes are in season from now until the end of September or until the first frost. They’re available at most roadside vegetable stands. But remember, “Slow down, you don't want to miss 'em!”

Cindy’s Favorite Marinated Tomatoes
6 large homegrown or heirloom tomatoes,
washed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs thyme, chopped
1 sprig marjoram, chopped
1-2 tablespoons scallions or green onions with some green stem, finely chopped
Parmesan cheese, shaved

Combine marinade ingredients in a shaker. Pour over sliced tomatoes; gently stir so all tomatoes are coated with marinade. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve as a side dish garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese, or with dollops of cottage cheese and seasoned croutons as a light lunch. Yum!


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