The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Opinion

July 19, 2013

COOKING WITH SIMON: Fruits of labor – tomatoes vs. grapes

PALESTINE — Lately I have been talking about how many grapes I have in the vineyard, but over the past week I’ve also had a lot of tomatoes.

Yes, tomatoes. I have planted tomatoes in the spots where I lost a few vines because of the 2011 drought. Since the irrigation is already in place, it made sense to plant some vegetables. So here I am with an abundance of tomatoes – a great problem to have.

Last year the tomatoes I planted didn’t do very well, but I think the cooler nights have made this year’s crop better. The tomato variety has also made a difference. Some types of tomatoes are doing very well and others look haggard and the blooms never set. I will have to make note of the varieties that thrive in the vineyard soil for next year’s garden.

It’s always a challenge to grow any type of plant. A green thumb really has nothing to do with it. It’s all about climate, temperature, water, soil, insects, and who knows what else.

With the grapes in the vineyard I’ve fought black spot, caterpillars, mold, drought, worms, grasshoppers, random bugs and deer, deer and lots of deer. Oh by the way, did I mention the deer? And now that the grapes are getting sweet, watch out for the birds.

It’s taken a lot of nurturing and attention, but the vines have survived and with great excitement we are finally going to harvest the fruits of our labor.

So you have to come out to the Grape Stomp Celebration on July 27. If you’ve been wondering about Sabor a Pasion and waiting to come out, now is the time.

Come out and see what it is all about. It will be a great week of celebration that we want to share with everyone. After three years of growing and praying and walking outside everyday to see how the vines look it is finally time to harvest grapes.

But for now – actually today – I am harvesting tomatoes.

So this week’s recipe is gazpacho. A chilled tomato soup that is great in the summer months. It’s cool, refreshing and a wonderful way to take advantage of fresh ingredients.

Hope to see you at the Grape Stomp on July 27. Go to www.saborapasion.com for more details or call me at 903-729-9500. Advance tickets are also available at Texas Art Depot.

Text Only
Opinion
  • 7-26-simon-slaw.jpg Cooking with Simon: Stomp grapes and eat Texas food

    If you’re picking up the newspaper on Saturday, you still have a chance to come out to Sabor a Pasion and celebrate the grape harvest at the 2nd Annual Charity Grape Stomp.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two decades of storytelling

    For the past 20 years, I have covered everything under the sun while working as community editor at the Palestine Herald-Press. I have covered festivals, banquets, graduations, fires, wrecks, elections, giant vegetables, you name it, I probably wrote about it.

    July 26, 2014

  • At the Movies: 'Begin Again' — Fresh tale creates appeal

    Some people film big pictures.  Others do small pictures.  Writer-director John Carney makes small pictures. 

    July 26, 2014

  • IMG_1373.jpeg COOKING WITH SIMON: Summer produce brings recipe inspiration

    Chefs are always recreating their menus and finding new inspiration for recipes. People ask me how where my new ideas come from and what I do to get inspired. The answer – mowing the lawn – and, by the way, I have a lot of lawn, vineyard and fields to mow.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Swiss Chard  & Peach Salad COOKING WITH SIMON: Garden vegetables ready to harvest

    Last month, I was invited to cook for a group of clients at a fishing lodge in Alaska. It was quite an experience – beautiful scenery, amazing salmon, halibut, and great accessibility to some of the best fishing in the world.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • watermelon COOKING WITH SIMON: Red, white and watermelon

    Happy 4th of July weekend! On every street corner the fruit of Texas is being sold from the back of old trucks and roadside produce stands.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • COLUMN: Musings about life and the pursuit of happiness

    Yesterday was July 4th, a time we celebrate independence and the truths that all men are created equal and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” to quote Mr. Jefferson.

    July 5, 2014

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Jump Street

    I should have known better.  Just like “Legally Blonde” and “Dumb and Dumber,” a comedy based on a premise as opposed to one based on truly funny characters merged with a clever situation should never have a sequel.

    July 3, 2014

  • 6-28--SIMON-Lamb-Sliders.jpg Cooking with Simon: Celebrate July 4th with lamb burgers

    Being born in one country and raised in another can bring a bit of confusion to one’s life. And then to find yourself living in a third country as an adult, is one reason this kiwi is all messed up.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Notebook: Kids can create their own summer fun

    Things are so different today than when I was a kid. A recent conversation with my 9-year-old son reinforced my belief.

    June 28, 2014