Love and Gratitude

Praying mantis

In my dream last night, although it wasn’t quite Christmastime, our mailbox overflowed with cards and little wrapped gifts for Mom and me.

Today, it’s the feeling I remember the most…of love and gratitude at these out-of-the-blue surprises…

Like hearing a songbird out of season, or finding a tomato ripening on the vine this close to November, or spotting a praying mantis along the sidewalk…

Maybe if we choose to see the gifts He’s already given, we’d always carry that sense of love and gratitude into every day…and that would lead to expectancy and wonder for each new season of life…

Just some wandering thoughts on this late October evening…

Sweet dreams, everyone!

Tomato-Cheddar Pie







Well, I finally made my first tomato pie last night — with the tomatoes from our garden! — and highly recommend the following recipe. We didn’t have cornmeal on hand, so I just crushed up a few organic blue chips/tortilla chips, and that worked well. Also, no dill…but it tasted great without it.

Just in case the link (at the bottom of this page) decides not to work someday, I’ve also copied and pasted the recipe here:


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 cup buttermilk


2 pounds large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4″ slices
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar (8–9 ounces)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (1/2 ounce)
1 scallion, trimmed, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal

Special Equipment: Use a 9″-diameter glass or ceramic pie dish


For crust:
Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in butter until coarse meal forms and some small lumps remain. Stir in buttermilk and knead gently with your hands until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

For filling:
Lay tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with 2 layers of paper towels. Place another 2 layers of paper towels on top of tomatoes. Let stand for 30 minutes to drain.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to an 11″ round. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Invert dough onto pie dish. Carefully peel off plastic wrap.

Toss both cheeses in a medium bowl until evenly incorporated. Reserve 1/4 cup of cheese mixture. Whisk scallion, mayonnaise, dill, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over bottom of crust, then top with 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Arrange 1/3 of tomatoes over cheese, overlapping as needed. Spread half of mayonnaise mixture (about 1/3 cup) over. Repeat layering with 1 cup of cheese mixture, 1/2 of remaining tomato slices, and remaining mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese mixture over, then remaining tomato slices. Sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup cheese mixture. Fold overhanging crust up and over edges of tomato slices.

Bake pie until crust is golden and cheese is golden brown, 35-40 minutes (check crust halfway and tent with foil if it’s getting too dark). Let pie cool at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours before slicing and serving.”