Y’all I’m thinking about my daddy a lot this week and all of the good, but hard lessons he taught me.
If you’ve read any of my food posts before, you know daddy loved to cook and I loved to eat (and still do). BUT I did not like TOMATOES !!! Ironically, I covered everything with ketchup !
Probably because Momma and Daddy grew up in the Depression, we had a rule in the Pearson family that you ate what was put on your plate before you got up from the table. Our family did not waste food !
I had a slightly sad face when I saw tomatoes on my plate. I did not like the texture of the SLIMY seedy part and would about make myself gag if I had to eat them!
It’s so crazy that as a kid, I would eat one thing at a time and rotate my plate eating my favorite thing last. I DID NOT even want my food TO TOUCH on the plate … I thought it was just me but I’ve found that other kids do odd things like that too. I had other crazy food preferences, like only wanting to order fried shrimp every night in a restaurant on vacation. (BTW, if your child does this or insists on wanting one thing ALL the Time, there’s a good book for that called “Bread and Jam for Frances” by Russell Hoban. Of course, there’s “Green Eggs and Ham” too.)
I had to sit at the table after everyone else was through until I ate the offensive food, which was most likely green or colorful vegetables. Daddy would try to get me to try different foods and say things like, “One day you’re going to like this food and you’re going to say, ‘How silly I was not to eat this.'”
I didn’t really EVER THINK that day would come BUT I did NOT roll my eyes though !
His next ploy would be to get me to try different toppings on the tomatoes or combine them with other foods to get me to eat them. I loved mayonnaise so he put a dollop of mayonnaise on the tomato. I tried to cut it up into very small bites and eat it that way and finally choked it down, probably swallowed it whole so I wouldn’t have to taste it. I still didn’t like them though.
Eventually I learned to cut the tomatoes up and mix them with peas and mayo. That was pretty good. (Remember I previously didn’t want my food to touch so this was a big accomplishment and I’m sure everybody was happy I wasn’t spoiling suppertime.)
I even learned to like salad when I was in jr. high but that’s a whole other funny story !!
Here’s something I learned from all of my food battles with my dad:
If there’s a food I don’t like, I can mix it in with other foods. Now I can eat most “slimy” foods, even oysters (covered with cocktail sauce on a cracker) ! He was RIGHT… I love vegetables now; I even learned to eat Brussel sprouts. 😉 I was silly and I’m glad he helped me learn to try new foods.
Here are some of my favorite recipes with TOMATOES, which I am now growing !!!
My hubby reminds me that I don’t even like all of the ingredients that go into this… but all together, they’re sooo good & good for you !
- 2 tomatoes, chopped by hand
- In a chopper, place 2-3 pepperoncini (greek) peppers or banana peppers, a little red onion & olives and pulse a few seconds.
Mix in with tomatoes. Add minced garlic (or fresh chopped), olive oil, salt, pepper and basil. Refrigerate to let all the flavors develop. We spoon it on low-fat Triscuits or whole-grain crackers. If you want to add some protein, chop up some leftover finely chopped chicken, pork, or prosciutto and throw it in or you could sprinkle a little bacon on top but you’d need to serve it immediately since the bacon would get soggy. (See my bacon tip below) I’m making a salad some leftover tenderloin & bruschetta for lunch topped with a little feta cheese and balsamic dressing ! Yumm!!
Blender Salsa (from The Recipe Critic)
- In a blender or food processor add tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, cumin, salt and lime.
- Pulse until it is as chunky or smooth as you would like. Adjust taste with salt if needed
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors blend.
The biggest challenge for me is the chips with salsa so maybe a whole-grain tortilla chip be a good choice.
I started cooking on a sheet pan, so I decided to bake my bacon on a rack in a foil-lined pan. I’ll probably never fry it again! The rack allows most of the fat to drip into the foil for easy clean-up. You don’t even have to flip it.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (depending on your liking and your oven). Drain the bacon on paper towels. I add a THIN tomato slice on wheat bread with just a little mayo for a classic summer bacon & tomato sandwich.
Hope You Enjoy !