Green Tomato Bacon Pie

So I mentioned teased you previously about a pie we made from our green tomatoes and bacon.  I promised to share something recipe like. And then I didn’t for like ever.  Or at least, an eternity in internet time.

So now, I make it up to you by making you hungry. Yes, this is about as close as I get to actual recipes. There are no measurements and next time I make it, it will be different just because I am also incapable of following a recipe.

First, fry up some bacon.  A lot of bacon. I used a 48oz package of bacon ends and pieces. And because I live in a house where we love our bacon, much of this got eaten during this phase.  I believe 1.5lbs to 2lbs was left to go in the pie. If you can cook bacon without grazing and keep the rest of your household from grazing, you could probably just cook enough for the pie, and I stand in awe of your willpower and fear your iron fist. All of this went into the food processor once it had drained. If you substitute some kind of store bought bacon-bit abomination here, Cthulhu will rise from his slumber and bitch slap you.

Maybe not, but you really shouldn’t risk it.

Now, take some green tomatoes and half a red onion and saute them up in the bacon grease. Next time, I’ll probably throw a jalepeno or something in there. Nothing too hot. Don’t want to overwhelm everything else. Besides, I’ve got this if I want more heat once it makes it to the table.

Melinda's Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
Why yes, that is Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce. And yes, it will rock your world.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. Hard to focus with the world rocking like that.

Anyway.  Once that is reasonably sauteed, turn down the heat and spread it all around the edges of the giant frying pan.

Um…okay.  Why?

Because now you’re going to throw some garlic in the middle to roast it.  Like so.

Adding the garlic
Roast it, sear it, you know-apply heat to the garlic and make it smooshy

So you know, your house will smell delicious at this point.

While the garlic is becoming more deliciouser, make a bacon mat on some foil.  We used a pound of bacon strips.

A pound of bacon woven into a mat is a beautiful thing.

You should also be applying bourbon to the cooks at this point. You’re also going to need to shred up some cheese.  We used swiss and mozzarella.

Smoosh up the garlic and mix it up with your bacon pieces, tomatoes, and onions. Put all that stuff in the pie crust.

Then smear some mayonnaise all over the top of that. Don’t use Miracle Whip. That stuff is a sin against nature.

Your cheese goes on top of the coating of mayonnaise.

Mmm. Notice the granite mortar and pestle back there? Perfect for smooshing up the garlic

It should be a fairly thick layer of cheese.

And now for the application of the bacon mat.  You built it on foil so that you can just flip it onto the top of the pie.  See.  Always thinking.

Bacon mat. Bacon mat. Bacon mat. Bacon mat.

Get it all tucked around nicely and roll the pie crust around the edges.

Mmm. We sprinkled a little Kosher salt on this bad boy. psst. This does not make it a Kosher dish.

And into the oven it goes! Bake it until the bacon on top is crispy. What comes out will be a thing of beauty.

This image goes to 11. Click for higher resolution drooliness.

Oh yeah. This will make you fat. Your arteries will clog from the smell.  But man, oh man, what a way to go. The waist is a terrible thing to mind.

Get In Mah Belly!

Yeah, while everyone else brings you SHOT show, I bring you bacon.

Also, Epic Pie time because of Bonnie‘s timely FB post

But I’ll never match the pony blogging prowess of Erin.

Well That’s One Way To Improve The Workday

or, four ways

fun for the whole office!

Yes, those are indeed tiny chocolate bottles full of liquor

What do the people that make frozen dinners eat on their lunch break?

Because there is no way anyone who has ever eaten these things actually packaged them up.

1.  On the front, it says “keep frozen. cook thoroughly” I am fully aware that I can be culinarily challenged, but these things are mutually exclusive. “Keep frozen until ready to cook,” or “Cook from frozen” would be far more informative.

2. The cooking directions are on the bottom of the package.  You know, the part you can’t see while you’re cooking it. So I vent the lid and microwave the thing for 2 minutes. Now I must carefully lift the thing over my head to remember the next step. Which, I suppose, is the traditional step in the nuke it dance.

3. Let Stand?!?! Have you people ever been in a break room.  There’s one microwave and a line.  I’m already getting the stink eye for sticking my cardboard container of preservatives back in after the first ping. If I waited 1 to 2 minutes after the second ping to get out of the way, I’d probably end up taking leftovers to the back of the head. This is hoping that I didn’t already dump partially heated Chicken Fried Rice on my head after step 2.

4. Careful, It’s hot! Um, isn’t that kind of the point? Also, can’t see your warning unless I have already picked up the hot floppy cardboard and again hoisted it over my head.  But thanks for looking out for my safety.  I feel like you really care.  Really, it should warn about the one inexplicable piece of something that is reportedly chicken that has somehow remained frozen while surrounded by rice contains enough thermal energy to heat a small city.

5. The cute little blurb on the back about how you named these things after your mother and her finest ingredients? I’m calling BS on that one.  Either that, or I pity anyone’s childhood where ‘oyster-flavored extract powder’ was a staple in the kitchen. This probably doesn’t really belong in the food category…

It’s Pie! With Bacon!

As many of you know, the summer in my neck of the woods was brutal.  So brutal, in fact, that my tomato plants would just drop their blossoms rather than actually put of fruit for most of the summer.  The little pear tomatoes did fine, but the big ones just couldn’t take it even with daily watering.

Until the heat broke. Then they put on tomatoes like crazy. Unfortunately, there was just not enough summer left for the fruit to ripen, and we were left with about 5 pounds of beautiful green tomatoes.

We sauteed them into scrambled eggs and put them in stew, and they were delicious.  And then, I ran across a recipe for tomato pie. It wouldn’t do any good to link the recipe here because you don’t want that one anyway. That, and I’m not so good with following directions.  So off to the store to buy pie crust.

In spite of my undomesticated goddess status, I was able to find the Pillsbury pie crusts that come two to a package that you have to unroll. The EvylRobot was kind enough to fry up some bacon and chop it up into pieces for me. Both because he loves me, and also because he knows me in the kitchen+fire+sharp objects is likely to equal something that might make the news. I did slice the tomatoes with out incident, however.

And into the pie went the tomatoes and bacon.  The recipe said something about topping it with shredded cheese mixed with mayo, so I mixed that into an unholy mess in one of EvylRobot’s measuring cups. Did I mention that he loves me? The texture of this mixture is goopy…no…clumpy and sticky…we’ll call it glurpy and difficult to spread. I glopped this mixture over the top of the pie and spread it as evenly as possible.  Then I covered it in foil and stuck it in the freezer. If you are not like me and your oven is not wrapped in plastic in the dining room, you really could go straight into the oven at this point.

We thawed the pie later in the week to test my experimental pie on my family.  My mother has a perfectly serviceable oven in its proper place in the kitchen. And the pie was…alright.  Not great. The tomatoes were still too juicy and the crust was soggy.  It was difficult to cut and serve.  All agreed that it was a good start and that the next one would be better.

What? There were 2 pie crusts in the package.  It’s not like I had any other use for the second one. Besides, any food item that combines pie and bacon should get better reviews than ‘alright.’

And here is the last of Tomato Bacon pie 2.0. Because the answer is always more bacon.

More pics and something vaguely resembling a recipe later. It was delicious.

In My Happy Place, There Is Potluck

Ah the regular office event where everyone drags out their crockpot concoctions intended to impress (or at least induce bloating in) your office mates.

There’s Velveeta with Rotel.  These things are not food, and yet, when you put them together and apply heat, something magical happens.

Each individual brings enough food for a family and then we all gorge ourselves and lose any hint of productivity we would have otherwise had.

From July 29, 2011

And then there is dessert.

From July 29, 2011

And this one smells like Maker’s Mark.

Salad!

On Sundays, we generally get together EvylRobot’s family for lunch after church.  Everyone contributes something to the meal and we just hang out and enjoy the family fellowship time.

This Sunday, we brought 2 extra giggly girls, some NerdBeer of AtomicNerds fame (BTW-Stingray, Dad-in-law was impressed and enjoyed the fruits of your labors), and a delicious salad from our garden.

Yes, the very same intimidating garden grown from the seeds so generously provided by Emergency Seed Bank.  Radishes, spinach, and romaine – oh my!  All have thus far survived the inept gardening skills of yours truly.

Okay, not everything survived, I must admit.  The Swiss Chard I was so proud of that started this adventure?

Um…

Well…

I waited too long to transplant it to the garden.  The book said to move it in spring.  I got distracted.  And it got too warm in my back bathroom and dried out.  I will do better with this one next year.  I still have more seeds.

And in case you are wondering how on earth it got that warm in my bathroom.  Well that was another stroke of not quite brilliance on my part.  I saw all these nifty warming trays for starting seeds and thought, “Hey! That looks like a good idea.”  Note to self, Jennifer is not an adept gardener and should stick to the instructions in the book rather than get creative.  I killed my first batch of jalepenos and green peppers by cooking the seedlings.  Oops!

But hey, that’s all that I’ve killed.  All the seeds that were sent to me have sprouted and most survived the invasion of the bunny as well.  Only 2 beets seem to have evaded the bunny, but still, there is food growing my backyard!  Plants that I haven’t killed.  Really, this is exciting.

There are beets, romaine lettuce, carrots, radishes, onions, parsnips, green beans, peas, spinach, and green peppers actively growing in my backyard.  And those are just the seeds provided by Emergency Seed Bank.  In addition to that, we’ve got 5 habanero plants that we purchased at the hardware store along with 5 heirloom pear tomatoes.  There are also several tomato plants started from FarmFam seeds.

Things I’ve learned so far:

1. It is good to have things planted in nice neat carefully spaced rows rather than haphazardly in a given section.

2. If the tree at the edge of the yard happens to drop seeds into the garden, you will be pulling trees out of the garden all summer.

3.  Rabbits like spinach, radish greens, and beets.  Also, garden fed rabbits are tasty.  That’s right self-righteous vegetarians, cute fuzzy animals died for your salad too. (Links go to pictures that some may find disturbing)  Who knew that meat would come from a vegetable garden?

4. Stepping stones would be helpful in wider sections of the garden.  Although, stretching out to get the weed 3 feet from the edge is a great ab workout.

5. Holy smokes!  I like peas!  I’ve never liked peas.  They’ve always been nasty, slimy things that the mean lady at daycare forced me to eat.  But from my garden they are sweet, crisp, and delicious. Also, I’m ridiculously entertained and wonder what a certain princess would think of the peas growing up the headboard of the flower bed.

Whimsical Flower Bed

6. Seeds should be started in something deeper than Weber drip trays.

7. Soaker hoses rock.

8.  I am totally impressed with Emergency Seed Bank and highly recommend them to anyone interested in starting down the gardening adventure.

The Emergency Seed Bank provided one seed bank for me to plant and write about here.  All gardening ineptitude is my own.  They tried to give me instructions.  And yet, they’ve grown in spite of me.  All information provided here is from my own personal experience.  They provided seeds for me to write about but my endorsement of their product is my own.

Sometimes, I’m Kind of an Idiot

So I haven’t been feeling quite right for the last several days, more than a week really.  Feet swollen, issues with heartburn, itchy, and other things you probably don’t want details about.  And I couldn’t explain it.  I’ve been eating well, even getting more fruits and vegetables than previously.  I’m drinking plenty of water and everything.

In fact, my employer has started providing fruit in the office.  Why, I’ve been eating an orange or a couple of clementines for breakfast every morning.  Ate a whole pile of orange slices with dinner last night.  They were delicious.  All that vitamin C yummyness should have me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, right?

Oh yeah!  That’s right.  I was allergic to oranges as a kid.  Maybe, just maybe, I should kinda limit my intake of them a bit as an adult.

Duh!  Just because you out-grow a childhood allergy, doesn’t mean you get to go all hog wild on the forbidden fruit.  And really, it shouldn’t take weeks of such behavior before it dawns on you why you might not be feeling so great.

Oh citrus mistress!  Why must you seduce me so?

 

 

The Chard! It’s Sprouting!

Pardon me for a moment while I examine my thumbs.
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Well they certainly don’t look any less brown. And definitely not green by any stretch.

You see, I’m a plant killer.  Mass murderer actually.  Seriously.  I’ve killed ivy.

/me glances over at yellow leaves on office philodendron

But last year, in a moment of insanity, I ordered a little package of seeds from Emergency Seed Bank.  It was a free sample.  No, they aren’t paying me a dime to write about them, and the sample was not provided in exchange for a post.  I didn’t even know what I was going to get.

So a few days later, I received a little brown envelope that I didn’t even remember ordering because I’m on top of these things.  Inside was a a little silver package that said Swiss Chard on the side.

Um…  What on earth is Swiss Chard???  This, apparently.  Yes, I had to look it up.

Well, okay then.  Still not quite knowing what malady had tripped a random wire in my head to cause me to order seeds, I placed the packet on top of the aquarium.

The same malady also encouraged me to save seeds from some lovely farm grown tomatoes and from our very own backyard habaneros.  So those seeds went into a jar and an old 35mm film* canister, respectively.  And up on top of the aquarium they went.  It’s a large and currently uninhabited aquarium.

And you know what having 3 varieties of seed stored in the dining room leads to?  Google!  So the internet told me that I should start them indoors 6-8 weeks before the last freeze for my area.  I live in Oklahoma.  They don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow.   How am I supposed to know when the last freeze is going to hit?  Google doesn’t even know that!

Now, I’m intimidated.  But a guy at church who knows about these things said it was time.  So I headed to the hardware store for some Jiffy Mix seed starter stuff, because the internet said not to use regular dirt, and some kind of trays to start them in.  The aluminum drip trays from Weber sold in a pack of 10 for $5 so I went with that.  And last Sunday night proceeded to start my seeds.

I learned that it is much easier to label the trays before you get them full of moist seed mix. (Should have been a well duh, but I’m new at this)  Also, seed mix is not like dirt and does not absorb water readily.  There is a lot of mixing and squishing involved.  Oh, and Swiss Chard seeds look a bit like grape nuts and are kind of spiny.  I let them soak in warm water, as per the internet, while I planted 3 tiny trays of tomatoes.

Wet Swiss Chard seeds will stick to your fingers.  Probably would have been smart to drain them rather than use my dirty fingers to pick them out of the water where they were floating.  But I planted them in 2 drip trays of their own.  The internet said none of the seeds would need light until they actually sprouted, but they did need to be kept warm.  And so, into the master bathroom went the five trays along with a space heater and spray bottle so I could keep the whole mess warm.

And this morning!  Swiss Chard sprouts!  OMG!!  I’ve never grown anything from seed before.  And there are several worm looking sprouts coming out of my drip trays!  It only took 4 nights.  Of course, now I’m wondering what have I gotten myself into.  And really, Emergency Seed Bank, trusting me with the care and cultivation of dozens of baby plants?  That’s probably not the wisest thing ever.  I mean, plants in the nursery recoil in horror when I browse.

So, I guess we will see how it goes.  It might be wise to place your bets now on how soon I kill them.  They may not have much time.

It occurs to me that this post would be much better with a picture of said baby worm things, but I saw them before 7 this morning which is also before caffeine.  Thus, no picture.  I’ll take one when I get home.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll have infant tomato plants by then too.  Although, the internet says that will take a few more days.

I’m starting to feel ambitious.  I think I’ll plant the habanero seeds this weekend!  I promise better photo documentation of their planting process.

*kinda like a memory card except that it was one time use only and delete was forever.  And no previews.  Also, you had to completely fill it up before you could look at the pictures which required you send it off to someone that performed special alchemy to transfer the image to paper.  So really, nothing at all like memory cards.

Dear FTC:  They provided free samples to anyone that asked.  I asked; they sent.  Although, if Emergency Seed Bank is also afflicted with the insanity malady and wishes to provide me more seeds to expose to extreme peril and certain death for the sake of internet fame and recognition, I’d be happy to oblige.  I’ll disclaim accordingly if such madness transpires.