In just one week, school starts in our part of Connecticut. But for today, it’s summer. One thing I LOVE about summer is tomatoes. We’ve been fortunate this year to participate in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, which means we pay in advance to receive weeks of delicious, organic, local vegetables that we pick up once a week close to our home. We have loved eating our favorite veggies and learning about new ones, too. This week, one part of our bounty was 4 pounds of tomatoes. That’s a lot, so I was more than happy to make a pie from just a few of them.
In fact, I made two Tomato Pies today. One was for us, and the other was for a friend at our church whose family has suffered the loss of a loved one this month. Not only is she a friend, but she also happens to be on staff at our church. Having been on more than one church staff, I know what a challenge it can be to care for others and care for your family at the same time. When I saw her Sunday, I asked if she needed anything–a casserole? a cocktail? a pedicure? She smiled and said, “I think we’re OK, though I never turn down a casserole…”
So I baked her a tomato pie this morning. I knew I’d see her today, because my daughter and I went to church this morning to work on a wall mural in the children’s area. We worked with two staff members and really enjoyed just chatting and completing something together. Fall’s a time for new beginnings, and perhaps this little bit of newness will inspire some young people–or old ones.
I love baking pies for anyone, but I especially like baking them for the purpose of showing care. The person who received a pie today is such a care-er. It’s her job to care–to teach, to minister, to shelter, to anticipate need–all based on caring that people know they are loved. It’s a huge job to keep sending this “love message” to people every day.
“If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”
I guess you could say that caring for a care-er is my way of putting oil in the lamp. When I can’t be the one to send the love message, maybe I can help fuel the ones who do.
If you’ve got lots of tomatoes, here’s the recipe for Tomato Pie. It’s by another fantastic carer I knew back in Georgia–Kim Patrick. She worked in the nurse’s office at our kids’ school, and she was great at caring for kids. I appreciate all that she, and others like her, do each day for kids and families. Kim’s recipe was for two pies, but I halved it here:
1 pie crust, pre-baked slightly
2 medium-sized firm tomatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 large bunch of spring onions, diced
Mix cheese, mayo, and onions in a bowl. Layer tomatoes in pie shell (I confess that I did not pre-bake it and it did fine. If you like it crispy, you might pre-bake). Add cheese mixture to top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Good reheated the next day.
Optional-add different cheeses and bacon.
As far as my friend’s Tomato Pie goes, I hope she’ll think it’s tasty, but even if she doesn’t, I hope she’ll know she’s cared for. I’m thankful for the love message she shares, and I pray she’ll have the fuel she needs to burn bright for a long time.