Late Summer Woes in the Kitchen Garden #2: Black Spots on the Bottom of Your Tomatoes and/or Cracked Fruit

A large, leathery black spot that forms on the bottom of tomatoes is a common issue, particularly among heirloom varieties. It’s called blossom end rot and you’ll certainly know it when you see it. Blossom end rot results when a plant that is deficient in calcium. The plant obtains its calcium from the soil but the nutrient level in the soil is almost never to blame. Uneven watering is usually the issue in the home garden – the soil is allowed to become too dry before more water is applied… Continue reading “Late Summer Woes in the Kitchen Garden #2: Black Spots on the Bottom of Your Tomatoes and/or Cracked Fruit”

Warm From The Sun – Open Faced Tomato Sandwiches

We all have fond childhood memories that connect with food. The experiences we had cooking with our moms, our fathers, our families – are so special. My great memories involve gardening, harvesting, and cooking with my grandmother Alberta. During the summer months she and I were quite a pair. She constructed days of adventure and learning and I ate everything up. The great thing about my summers was something that I didn’t even realize until years later – we were creating traditions. One tradition, and I’m certain it isn’t unique to us, were luscious, warm-from-the-sun open-faced tomato sandwiches…

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Seasonal Tomato Preserves!

Gather some backyard tomatoes...

Tomatoes are in abundance this time of year, and they never fail to come center-stage at our tables as the heat and light of summer presses on.  This week, we featured a recipe in our cooking class at the Fullerton Arboretum that highlighted some additional potential of the summer tomato: tomato preserves.  It’s not that the idea of a preserved tomato is new – far from it.  But the simplicity with which these particular summer tomatoes are preserved, and the great ingredients added to them that make them sparkle even greater, well, is just magic. Read on for the full recipe and browse the photos of the process in this post’s gallery… Continue reading “Seasonal Tomato Preserves!”

Thursdays in the Kitchen at Fullerton Arboretum: Cooking with Summer Tomatoes Class Recap and Recipes!

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Tonight’s Cooking with Summer Tomatoes class at the Fullerton Arboretum was so very delicious! Chef Jonathan Dye guided us through a tantalizing menu of tomato preserves on toast, caprese skewers, salmon and melted tomatoes, a tomato cheese tart and more! Check out the recipes from class here: Cooking with Summer Tomatoes, and click through for some more photos from class! Continue reading “Thursdays in the Kitchen at Fullerton Arboretum: Cooking with Summer Tomatoes Class Recap and Recipes!”