Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

You say tomato and I say tomato…by Sister #3


Around this time every summer, BOOM, an explosion of tomatoes! My plants are slow to produce, (with the exception of my cherry tomato plant that currently has about 20 green tomatoes hanging from its tiny branches), but my more green- thumbed friends are gifting me with bushels of tomatoes. At the moment I have three romas, two hearty beefsteaks, and a 2 quart basket of heirlooms that are bigger than cherry but not quite the size of romas. 

Growing up, I was never a huge tomato fan. I would occasionally have a slice on a burger, or on toast with some bacon and melted cheddar, but those were rare occurrences. My mom was a big tomato lover. While my Mom was living in care she would often pass up the PCH meal in lieu of a toasted tomato sandwich. Well, since my Mom has passed I have acquired an uncontrollable desire for tomatoes! Like her, I love a toasted tomato sandwich with mayo and salt and pepper. I pretty much have one a day, all summer.

That’s the thing about tomatoes, they need to be fresh from the garden to show off their true flavour. Unfortunately, here in Manitoba we have to tolerate hot house tomatoes for much of the year as we have a very short growing season.  

One of the many reasons I take off to Mexico every winter is pico de gallo. I can’t get enough of it!

Here is my recipe:

Pico de Gallo

3 tbsp finely chopped white onion

3 large ripe tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
1/2 small Jalapeno pepper (finely chopped)
2 tbsp minced cilantro
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

salt & pepper to taste or Tajin which I buy in Mexico

These beauties were on offer at a gourmet shop I visited in Victoria BC last spring, a place with a much longer growing season than ours.

Last summer, I discovered the perfect way to turn my tomatoes into a yummy appetizer for happy hour. I rolled out and baked a sheet of puff pastry, being sure to pierce it with a fork, (except around the very edges) so it does puff too much. Once cool, I spread cream cheese to which I had added some chopped fresh herbs. Next came the tomatoes. The bigger the variety, the better. Top it off with salt and pepper and voila, the perfect summer appy. 

Last fall my sisters and I had the pleasure of visiting Malaga Spain. The October tomatoes were sweet and juicy. We were staying in an Airbnb and didn’t have a lot of groceries, but we had some staples. So I decided to make “Pan con Tomate” which translates to bread with tomato. It’s a traditional dish that Spaniards eat for breakfast. I brushed sliced baguettes with good olive oil and toasted them in a pan. I used a box grater to break down the tomatoes, skin, seeds, and all. Next, I drained off some of the excess liquid, then adding some more olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. To eat it, you cut a clove of garlic and rub it on the crostini, then top with a healthy spoonful of tomato. Wow, que rico!  

So the moral of the story is, when life gives you good tomatoes, eat them!  Just keep it simple and enjoy these red orbs of sweet juicy perfection. 

Kath’s quote: “A world without tomatoes, is like a string quartet without the violins.”-Laurie Colwin

Love never fails.

A Brand New Feature-Sister # 3’s Treasured Recipes including her Personal Anecdotes

Caption: This is Us. The Three Sisters with our wonderful SIL and our precious 1st Cuz. Can you guess what we are doing? Shopping for food (of course)!

Let me take this opportunity to introduce myself to any of you who may not know me.  I go by “Sister #3” on this blog, which belongs to my eldest sister Kathryne, who you are more likely to know. A while back I was at our family cottage making my mom’s blueberry pie with some wild berries two of my nieces picked for me in the Belair forest.  An activity my mom and I did often when we were both still nimble enough to walk great distances in the heat in order to squat in the forest and collect these precious purple gems.

Although I pretty much have the recipe memorized I had brought a copy of it from a cookbook I had started writing many years ago, just in case I had a particularly brain foggy day.  Under the recipe was a little story that related to the pie.  My sister Kath noticed the paper and suggested I consider publishing some of mine, and our family’s favorite recipes to Food Musings.  

While I had almost completed the above mentioned cookbook, I had found it far to cost prohibitive to print.  Perhaps I’ll tidy it up one day and save a PDF to share with my immediate family members.  But in the meanwhile this is a way for me to share some stories and recipes with them, and any of you who might find them interesting.  

I hope you enjoy the posts and please drop us a line if you have any questions about a recipe.  While they are all tried and true, I don’t profess to be the best recipe creator. More than anything I hope you are inspired to try a new recipe, or pull out some of your family favourites.   

Mom’s Wild Blueberry Pie

3 cups fresh blueberries                       

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tbsp flour                                          

dash of lemon juice  

Pinch of salt

Pie crust made using the recipe on the side of the Tenderflake box. 

Pre-heat oven to 425ºF. Mix together sugar, flour and salt, toss blueberries in mixture. Place in pie crust, drizzle with lemon juice. Cover with pie crust top. Cut slits in the top crust with a knife so that steam can escape while baking.  Bake for 10 minutes at 425º, turn oven down to 350º and cook for another 40 minutes. Let the pie sit for a while before serving. 


It seems like an odd question, but I often ask my friends this.  I don’t think that there is a big difference between a family who ate cake and a family who ate pie.  All I know is that most families were either one or the other. We were definitely a pie family.  We didn’t eat dessert after every dinner, but likely once a week we would have something sweet.  My mom had a talent for finding a sweet treat, even when there was nothing in the house. She and I would often spend an afternoon listening to a record, whether it was Walt Disney’s Dumbo or Mario Lanza’s  we would eat a small dish of peanut butter and maple syrup. Sounds crazy but you should try it sometime!  Mom has passed but I still remember her deep frying donuts at Grand Beach, making Chocolate Puffed Wheat square and delicious cinnamon buns but I don’t recall her ever baking a cake. Pastry on the other hand was my Mothers forte. She made every kind of pie, Rhubarb, Apple, Blueberry, Saskatoon, Lemon, Chocolate, Yummo!  I don’t make very many pies myself, but whenever I do I think of my Mom.  

Kath’s quote:

“Our hobbies include eating pie and thinking about the next time we‘ll be eating pie.

Love never fails.