Putting up with pale: Winter tomatoes and winter eggs

The tomatoes above were grilled on a gas grill. The sausage is Morning Star fake sausage.

Those winter tomatoes almost look real in the grocery store, don’t they? Then you get them home, and they’re tasteless and mealy. They’re barely fit for salads. I know of only one way to get some taste into them — grill them.

Yesterday I broiled the tomatoes in the oven, with some parmesan. This morning I grilled them, with nothing but salt and pepper. The grilled tomatoes, by far, were tastier. Luckily, the grill is on the deck just outside the kitchen door, so getting to the grill is convenient for small jobs like grilling tomatoes for breakfast.

It’s sad to see the eggs go pale in winter. It’s the grass and green things the chickens eat that make the yolks so deeply colored. It’s not that there isn’t some grass in the orchard in the winter. Rather, it’s that the turf is very vulnerable to damage in the winter if the chickens scratch too much. So in the winter the chickens stay mostly in the bare garden, where they can do no harm. Getting orchard time is a treat for the chickens during fine winter weather.

About those grits. I feel like a salesman because I’m always promoting the Cuisinart CSO-300 steam oven. But it’s the best way of cooking grits I’ve ever seen, by far. Just put the grits in an uncovered ovenproof bowl, 3 parts water to 1 part grits. Cook them on “super steam” at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Then let the grits sit, covered, for about 10 minutes before serving. The grits come out perfectly cooked without any need for stirring and dealing with grit splatter.

These tomatoes were broiled in the oven, with parmesan


One food that is not pale in January: the New Year collards. December was warm and wet, perfect for collards. I got these collards at a local grocery store. They were grown in South Carolina.

3 thoughts on “Putting up with pale: Winter tomatoes and winter eggs”

  1. We eat with our eyes first. Your food always looks amazing. I am currently bingeing on kale chips. Strip stems, thoroughly wash & dry kale, massage with olive oil. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn & bake additional 15 minutes. Season with kosher salt. Simple, but so good.

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