September 12, 2011

GARDEN POST #4: Joyce Tomatoes

Posted by Ethne~

One of my dad’s best friends, Marv, lost his wife Joyce to breast cancer this past December.  Needless to say, she went too soon.  A cure for cancer can’t come soon enough.  We’ve all been touched by victims of the disease in its many forms.

We miss you Joyce!

Marv and Joyce lived a wonderful life and Joyce was a FAB-U-LOUS cook.  I remember one time when I was a kid she made gingerbread girls and boys around the holidays.  She decorated them with spectacular detail, including a couple of cookies which were anatomically correct.  Everyone got a chuckle out of this.  She said that by the time she was done baking and decorating the girls and boys, she was nearly fried and went a little off the deep end for a minute, hence the dirty cookies.  Too funny.

We spent many holidays together over the years and Dad stood up for Marv when he and Joyce married on a lake in front of the Grand Teton National Park mountains in 1997.  Talk about PERFECTION!

Marv and Joyce had Dad, Whit and me over for dinner often the summer before I left for college.  Produce was fresh as can be - tomatoes grow quite well in NW ND.  Joyce made a fresh tomato side dish that was so brilliant that Dad had her write down the recipe on a sticky note and it’s been stuck to the inside of his spice cupboard ever since (even though he’s moved twice since then).  We call them Joyce Tomatoes.

This tomato dish isn’t rocket science, but it is pure brilliance.

About an hour before you will eat your meal, slice your room temperature tomato(es) to about ½” thick rounds (cut out the tough core).  Lay the slices in a single layer onto a large plate (dinner plate is what we use).  [PLEASE NOTE: don't keep your tomatoes in the fridge, just the countertop.  They're never as good.]

Tomatoes marinating

Lightly drizzle each tomato slice with balsamic vinegar (I occasionally use red wine vinegar if it’s all I’ve got), then another light drizzle of olive oil.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and coarse black pepper (of course you can use regular salt and pepper, but no matter what this should be a really light sprinkle of salt and pepper so the spices don’t overpower the fresh taste). 

Finally, sprinkle with dried or fresh chopped basil.

Friends, you’ll never eat a better tomato dish.  Each time you eat it, think of our friend Joyce and other friends you’ve lost to cancer.  The antioxidants in the tomatoes will do your body good.   They’re great cancer-fighters.

Joyce Tomatoes on KD and Easy Mac's monkey plates

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