Wednesday, July 14


Eating the SFA Community Cookbook: Tomato Pie

Three words for you: A. Freakin. Mazing. Hats off to Billy Reid! Though I do love tomatoes, I did not expect to gush over a tomato pie recipe.

At first glance, I thought I had really gotten off easy this time. The ingredients are fairly simple (tomatoes, bacon, cheese, mayonnaise...). But like any good Southern woman, "Southern guilt" took over. First, I heard the voice of Nan Davis's Aunt Lella. She shows up in the first recipe in the SFA Cookbook. Lella tells Nan in a "bless her heart" sort of tone, that she may as well "not bother" making pimento cheese if she's not going to make the mayonnaise. If most of my ingredients are easy to work with, the least I can do is make the mayonnaise (something I've never tried before, by the way). And what about the pie shell? Am I going to use the "perfectly good" store bought one in my fridge? The one with absolutely no taste? Well...I have always been meaning to try making my own crust...

So, I go out and buy a rolling pin (something that should be in my kitchen anyway...I realize this; don't judge). And: I make my own crust. Easy! I mean really easy. Why haven't I been doing this all along?

And, while the bacon is cooking, I make my own mayonnaise (using Aunt Lella's recipe from the Cookbook, of course). Also, easy to do. It seemed runny at first, but as the oil slowly dripped in the food processor, it took on the perfect consistency.

I assembled the pie, baked as directed, and tried to let it cool for a few minutes before serving (not easy when your husband is pacing the kitchen, eagerly awaiting his first slice).

It was better than great! We joked, before slicing, that we could eat it out of the pie dish. After eating my slice, I sort of wish we had! The crust was flaky and tasty; the Mississippi tomatoes, straight from the garden out back, were juicy and tangy; the crispy bacon--well, bacon always belongs with tomatoes; and the mayonnaise made me a believer, Aunt Lella.

So: SUCCESS! In many ways. Not only did we enjoy the first recipe, but I also learned why people might take the time to make ingredients at home. And that I can make them. I truly am capable. Something to be said for that Southern guilt.

One of the best parts of the cookbook? No calorie counts.