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Tomato Pie

July 27, 2009

I’m back.

I know, you didn’t miss me. You didn’t even know I was gone and because this is my very first post on this blog, how could I expect you to? But I was, for three months, gone to the other side of the country, otherwise known as the East Coast. We were there for the husband’s job, which every few years or so requires his presence in or around New York. This time, we were “around” New York (north and a bit west) living in rhodeislanda place that just might exist solely so people have a reason to use descriptive words like “quaint” and “charming.” The  churches were so beautiful they made me want to start going to church again. The scenery was so greenconn and lush that it makes where I’m living now look like a shriveled up old sponge setting by the sink (more about that in later posts). But the food…well, as much as I adored everything else about our temporary home, I did not adore the food. I missed obscenely well-stocked farmers

markets. I missed sushi and good thai food. I even missed Trader Joes. But I did have one memorable food experience in this tiny state on the East Coast that I’ve never had on the west coast. Ironically, it was with a dish that is more typically Southern: Tomato Pie.
Tomato.
Pie.
How can those words not tempt you? They tempted me and to be honest, tomatoes are not even close to being my favorite vegetable (I know tomatoes are a fruit. Which is think is ridiculous. In my mind they will always be vegetables.) You can read more about my recent adventures making tomato pie here, but the first time I tasted Tomato Pie was at a tea room in Salisbury, CT where i heard they servedchaiwalla the best Tomato Pie around. I had driven almost an hour to get to Chaiwalla and knowing I probably wouldn’t make the hour back without a taste of the pie, I asked the owner if she had a plastic fork. She did have one, but she refused to give it to me. “You can’t eat it like that,” she said, with the voice of a mother reprimanding a child. “Take it home and warm it up.” I didn’t argue. I kind of like chaiwalla_piebeingreprimanded by chefs who have such a clear vision for their food that they are incapable of believing the customer is always right (even after you pay them $20 for two pieces of pie). So I took my slice pie and sat in my car and before I drove home I ate half of it with my fingers. Even cold, it was pretty darn good.  But it wasn’t exactly what I wanted Tomato Pie to be. It was slightly runny and bit too mayonnaisey for my tastes. These two qualities are hallmarks of a Tomato Pie, but I was craving something a little different.

And so when I got back from my three-month stint on the East Coast, the first thing I did was make Tomato Pie, West Coast style. Tomato Pie with Fresh

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

Mozzarella and Creme Fraiche is the type of pie you want to make now, before all those beautiful summer tomatoes fade away. The recipe takes a little time and patience, but if you’re a die hard tomato fan, it’s well worth it.

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