It’s been a mad rush of a week.
My tomato plants are waist high. They are beginning to flower and they look healthy and happy.
Scott talked briefly about pinching off (or not pinching off) some of the branches that begin to form at the joints where the leaves connect to the main stalk. I am growing mine in pots, so I think my tomato support choices are limited. In fact I am choosing a very basic pyramid of 3 bamboo stakes per pot. Because of these limitations I am choosing to pinch my side shoots. Besides it’s a nice way to start each day. I take my tea out there and I pinch away.
I like the way it makes my fingers smell too!
I’ll be bringing Scott back next week for some real advice, about support systems. In the meantime, wasn’t there a contest or something here at SippitySup. Aren’t you curious how that came out?
Well, had a great response to our TomatoMania recipe contest. I am so honored by all the talent and love out there.
Every single entry was fantastic. I wish we had the budget to print up all 46 entries and pass them all out at the Los Angeles Garden show. But the reality is we do not! Besides what kind of contest would it be with out winners! Everybody loves a winner. And here they are! Congratulations and Thank-You all…
I personally discovered 5 Star Foodie because her restaurant reviews are so thorough and well written. She has a real talent for drawing the reader in and really sharing her dining experience. The things she is posting right now about her recent trip to England are absolutely phenomenal. Talk about travel envy.
But is it creative recipes like her Candied Tomatoes with Basil Cookies & Honey Greek Yogurt that keeps me coming back time and again. This recipe really captured the judges attention because we all know really great tomatoes are sweet. Why not take that asset and run with it? Well Natasha did to great success.
Stef, and her beautiful site, Cupcake Project, was new to me. It’s one of the things that makes doing a contest like this so gratifying. I was introduced to all kinds of new blogs and new ideas.
Speaking of new ideas Stef is full of them. Take this recipe for a Tomato and Bean Cupcake. Yes, you read that right! I admit at first I was a little dubious. But all it took to turn me around were 2 simple words from one of the gardeners on the panel. Zucchini Bread! I love zucchini bread, why couldn’t I love a Tomato Cupcake? Afterall, I am the cook who perfected the potato ricotta cheese cake. Keep an open mind Greg…
Eric Rivera is about the happiest man I can think of. There is real joy over at his blog. He loves life. He loves cooking. His eyes are always wide open. He asks questions. He takes chances, and he always seems ready for everything the great big world around him has to offer. Not a bad way to go through life!
It takes a mind like his to come up with a recipe for Fried Tomato Spaghetti with a Roasted Tomato Sauce. He takes cooked pasta and dredges it in a spicy flour mixture then deep fries it. Deep fries it, til it’s crunchy. My hat is off to him!
Nate and Annie are talented cooks who really understand food. I admire them for so much of what I read on their blog House of Annie. But it is the way they send that ball flying out of the ballpark at the FoodBuzz 24, 24, 24 challenges that really makes my jaw drop!
This recipe for “Lazy” Heirloom Gazpacho is another home run. Of all the recipes presented I love the way this recipe honors the tomato and presents it in it’s simplest, tomato-i-est form. It takes real talent and real restarint to let so few ingredients speak so clearly.
Another talented blogger I got to know through this competition is Marta, from Just Call Me Marta. Her site is simple and elegant. Her recipes are clean and concise. Her visuals immaculate.
Of all the entries, hers is closest to something I might have entered. Her fresh take on a salad combines several varities of sweet juicy tomatoes with fruit. Yes, fruit like grapes and strawberries. She seems to have innate sense of how to pair and combine flavors that bring excitment to the palate. But it was her insistence that a dash of salt was just the right touch to bring this sweet dish home that really convinced me she knew what she was talking about!
Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup. How could it not be a winner? And because this recipe comes from Jennifer at Savor the Thyme it has the added bonus of being healthy. Jennifer has a real knack for presenting healthy foods that appeal to the food lover in you. That’s not always easy…take this soup. She kept it luscious and creamy with out using cream!
She is also very smart. The gardeners on our panel were thrilled that she chose to step outside of the red tomato box and present a recipe using the yellow tomato. Gardeners love their tomatoes and when they find a cook that honors the lesser known varieties, they take notice.
Sarah is the S in SJ Gourmet. The gourmet in SJ Gourmet is also Sarah (I don’t know about the J). She has a very sophisticated way of looking at food. Her recipes and techniques are always first class. She thinks like a cook and I admire that she is always striving for a level of excellence that can only be called professional.
It does not hurt that she is a super talented photographer either! Her love of food and her attention to detail are the very qualities I look for when I read recipes. Be they on blogs or in books. She is a chef I can learn from. I know I am going to enjoy doing just that every time I visit her site.