Thursday, August 20, 2020




For five years I've saved this cover of Garden & Gun magazine's Aug/Sept issue, from their annual "The Southern Food Issue." 



And each summer I wait until a nice person gives us homegrown tomatoes and then make a tomato sandwich, something that was a favorite of my father's. No, I don't use Duke's mayo for it; Hellman's is my brand.



This summer two nice people have kept us supplied with homegrown tomatoes and they've been a delicious part of my menus. We've only grown cherry tomatoes for years now; just no luck with any other kind.



I made a small pot of tomato sauce to freeze for pasta with a few that were extra ripe. You can see a couple of Trader Joe's products behind the bowl that are favorites of mine. RH just made his first visit to TJ's since before the shut down happened and he found almost everything on my long list. 



Last July, Garden & Gun had an article about sterling silver tomato servers and I got out my only one and polished it up. The top one in their picture was valued at $500! Mine was much cheaper but pretty.


I use mine every time I make tomato aspic.



We've only had one good tomato so far off the one tomato plant our daughter planted for us but it was so good! I forgot to get a picture of it but I used it in a salad this week.


It was one of those nights when we were both exhausted. RH grilled two rib eye steaks that I'd smeared with brown sugar the night before and refrigerated uncovered [it seems to help]. I baked two large baking potatoes in the oven and added our lone tomato to the store-bought bagged salad.


That was it and we were almost too tired to eat. Almost.

There's an amazing tomato recipe I wanted to make this summer.



It's the Hot & Hot Fish Club's Tomato Salad and it looks magnificent!

Not sure I'm up to the challenge of this dish but if you are just Google it and take lots of pictures and let me know how it was. 

Meanwhile, let's keep enjoying homegrown tomatoes as long as we can! 




  1. Brown sugar on steak?? Why have I NEVER heard of that? You better believe I will try that and SOON! I bet it’s was amazing. Rib eye is my favorite, bone in of course.

    I’ve never really had luck with tomatoes and have always envied people who seem to grow them effortlessly. I have given up on trying and just buy them. I enjoy making tomato sauce with ripened tomatoes in September but I’ve noticed prices are pretty steep and really don’t justify the effort, I have one more farm stand I want to check out before I throw in the towel on that pursuit.

  2. My father loved big juicy field tomatoes from our Okanagan area. He would buy a case of them and eat them in a sandwich or in his hand. Have you ever tried the Spanish tomato toast? Some day old French bread, olive oil, tomato, garlic and sometimes anchovies. It can be served at any meal including breakfast. I'm using our cherry tomatoes and basil to make Ina Garten's Summer Fresh Pasta tonight.
    It's so nice to have a small balcony harvest.

  3. It all looks delicious. Fresh garden tomatoes -- there's no taste like it! I love fresh tomato sandwiches with Hellman's mayo or with sour cream slathered on the bread (which is how we ate it growing up). I have not heard of brown sugar on steak, that must add such a flavour, yum!

  4. My grandma and grandpa always loved fresh tomato sandwiches. They would eat them all summer long from their tomato plants. Fresh and homegrown are the best veggies. I like your tomato server looks just like the one in the magazine. Hugs. Kris

  5. I was about to get off the web to do a grocerty list.
    and here is a post on maters! LOL!
    oh YUM. now I will add Hellman's and some fresh tomatoes.
    I mean big ones. big enough for a sandwich. I've been buying the cherry ones all summer. I always enjoy your foodie posts! xo

  6. We only grow cherry and pear tomatoes, too - we don't have luck with the regular sized ones either! Good thing for us, we have several local farm stands that sell all their wonderful tomatoes. One of my favorite tomato recipes is the tomato pie that I posted on my blog a couple of weeks ago. The original recipe is from Mary at A Breath of Fresh Air.

    Debbie aka Mountain Mama posted a delicious looking tomato tart on Instagram today. Said it's Ina Garten's recipe. I'm going to look that one up and possibly make it.

    I've never had Duke's mayo (not available here in IL) but I grew up on Hellmans. We don't eat it anymore though because it's made with soybean oil. So now we buy an avocado-oil mayo.

    How far is Trader Joe's from you? The closest one to me is 20 min away but is in a direction I frequently travel (to my mom's house, physical therapy, etc) so I shop there often. One of my favorite stores!

  7. I love tomato sandwiches in the summer. On sourdough bread and a good helping of Helman's is a must. I have a tomato server, but had no idea that that's what it's for! I've always used it for serving jellied cranberry slices (my kids wouldn't eat any other kind). The server was my grandmother's.

  8. Garden & Gun is a favorite magazine and I adore tomatoes! Your recipes look marvelous, perhaps I'll do something similar for supper today; the sauce looks especially enticing.
    Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

  9. I love a good homegrown tomato.

  10. We have not had a home grown tomato yet. ~sigh~ We didn't try to grow any, and next door just did little ones.

    Hope to rectify this, tomorrow. Hope or son and family next door, will get some at the farm, where they have a co-op. It's high time!

    Although with acid reflux I can not eat many, I can have a couple of bites! And add some "forbidden" salt too! Ohhhhh myyyyyyyyyy, yessssss!!!!

    Love your lovely photos! Your own, are photos spread worthy.

    🐈 🐈 🐈

  11. All of your photos have my mouth watering! I would pay dearly for some home grown tomatoes, the ones from the grocery stores are just horrible. Have a great weekend :)

  12. Some of my cherry tomatoes have turned red, but the big ones are still green. We were given two plants, and I bought one at the Farmers' Market and we have no idea what they will give us for tomatoes. Kinda fun! The other two are cherries, and so far they are growing great. Time was we had to worry about frost in late August but no more. And watch - because I've written that, we will prob get one!

  13. Dear Dewena, I love your blog and especially your cooking posts. I can always imagine myself thoroughly enjoying whatever it may be that you have prepared. Everything looks delicious and I would enjoy a tomato sandwich right at this moment. My husband likes Dukes and I prefer Hellman's - but I wouldn't turn one down made with Dukes.
    I don't think this has been the best year for tomatoes. Usually we have an over abundance of cherry tomatoes, but not this year. Yesterday, I noticed the leaves on the trees are already fading.
    Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the remaining summer days.

  14. Hi, oh my,rib - eye rubbed in brown sugar, we will have to try that. This year our tomato are doing fantastic. We are not having as much luck with our peppers. We lost our King of the North peppers early in the season to bugs.
    I like Dukes, but we can not find it in all grocery stores up here in Northwest Wisconsin.
    Love, Carla

  15. Your summery meals look delish. And that salad! It is the sort that makes one want to grow all those different colors of tomatoes. One time I happened to have three colors of cherry tomatoes and created a recipe in their honor.

  16. We just plowed thorough over a dozen homegrown tomatoes given by a generous neighbor. He grew so many varieties. I could easily eat a BLT or simple slices with a sprinkle kleptomaniac's of salt and pepper as a side dish, but the amount had me getting more creative. Now I'm thinking g of growing a little patch of my own after giving up vegetable gardening years ago as I travelled.

    I'd love your tomato aspic recipe if it's no trouble. I plan to pick up more 'maters at the local farm stand this week.

    Super post, Dewena!

    Jane ❤️

  17. My son gave me three homegrown tomatoes from his garden today, Dewena. I cut up one for my southwestern salad tonight. Nothing beats a home grown tomato! Your steak, baked potato and salad dinner looks yummy. The stacked tomato salad looks amazing, however I don't think I'll be making it. I did Google it and it's just a little too much work for me. I do cook for myself and I enjoy it immensely, but most of my meals can be made in 30 minutes or less. Pretty simple fair. Actually, I find rotisserie chickens from the grocers to be a virtual culinary lifesaver. One of those will last me four days for both lunch and dinner, and there are so many different dishes I can make from just one chicken. Your tomato server is lovely. Hugs.

  18. I've never heard of Garden & Gun magazine but I immediately love the title, it sounds so Southern. And the tomato recipes look amazing, the sandwich is my idea of a perfect lunch (I'm a Heinz gal myself).

  19. Your tomato dishes look simply delicious, Dewena. I love homegrown tomatoes too, and I smiled when you mentioned your Father eating tomato sandwiches, cause my Aunt liked them too and would make herself a tomato and mayonnaise sandwich sometime. Your salad looks especially Yummy and perfect for these hot Summer days. I never heard of trying brown sugar on rib-eye steaks, I'll have to try that sometime. You always make your food look so tasty by your delightful photos. And the assortment of dishes you have adds a special touch too.


    ps.....I know you like watching Gilmore Girls, like me, so I think you will enjoy my post today. : )

  20. There is nothing that can compare to a vine-ripened summer tomato, picked fresh. Nothing. We, at long last, are seeing a few tomatoes ripen in our garden. It's been a rough year for tomatoes so we will treasure the ones we do get. Your rib-eye steaks sound delicious.
    Enjoy the fresh tomato season for as long as you can!

  21. You and me and our "Garden and Guns" ha ha ha LOL! I say that because we both read it and love it and I just never see ANYBODY else on the blogs who loves it like we do, ha ha. I remember that "mater" server article, I think! Those are so beautiful, and I don't have one!! I love yours. We grew up eating "mater" sandwiches too, and yes, we used Dukes. But I cared much less for the sandwiches and what I truly loved was fried green maters, cooked up in a big old heavy black iron skillet. My Ma-Maws BOTH fried up squash or maters for nearly every meal in the summer, and now I do the same. I could eat them both everyday, LOL. That rib-eye sounds DELICIOUS, I love those. Hope your summer is going well my friend. It's HOT HERE, HOT AND RAINY.

  22. Dewena, you so brilliantly recreated that magazine's front cover pic! And what beautiful food styling, too! Looks so refreshing!

    Your rib-eye steak coated in brown sugar looks and sounds mouthwatering, I can almost taste that caramelized glaze!

    Thank heavens for Hellmann's; it's the magical ingredient in so many of the dishes it is used in, from salads to chicken tenderizers to chocolate cakes! I love it!

    Your thoughtful suppliers were so sweet to have provided you with such scrumptious produce. I bet they knew that you would do wonders with their bounty! All your creations look and sound very tasty.

    We have been blessed with a huge harvest of three varieties of tomatoes this summer and I've enjoyed using them in an array of dishes: stuffed, in sauces, slowly cooked in ratatouilles, and even fried, next to oregano sprinkled eggs and Feta cheese - all very simple, savoury and so good.

    Now, that Hot & Hot Fish Club's Tomato Salad looks divine, so I'd better go google it and see if I'm up for a culinary challenge!

    Happy Tuesday,
    Poppy xoxo

  23. Oh my what a tasty post! Your pasta sauce looks good and there's nothing like a good tomato sandwich during the summer months. It's been years since I polished my inherite tomato server. Shh...don't tell my mom!