Friday, July 18, 2008


I love fresh tomatoes.

Big, thick, juicy slices of red, ripe tomato, sprinkled with salt and freshly ground pepper. Not much better!

Or thinner slices in a BLT: Crisp, salty, smokey bacon with lush tomato and crisp lettuce on toast and slathered with mayo or miracle whip.

Thickly sliced on a plate with ranch dressing on top. Or with olive oil and red wine vinegar - MMMMMM!

One of the biggest (in many senses of the word) garden pests is the tomato hornworm. They can decimate a tomato plant overnight! And if you get more than one on a plant, watch out! Big nasty green buggers! I went out for a small break from work this morning and thought hmmmmmm . . . one of our tomato plants looks rather strange. I went and looked and found . . .

Yup - tomato hornworms. I hate these things. They are just plain nasty. And hard to see! They say the best time is to check your plants at night with a flashlight. They don't like sun, so they hide during the day and do most of their eating at night. I immediately checked all of the other tomato plants and found another one onthe next plant over. I found evidence on 2 of the other plants, but could not find the worms. Then I happened to check the pepper plants. Yup, found 2 on there. One poor pepper plant only had 1 leaf left!! Greedy so-and-so's! We took and threw them onto the parsley plants, as we have an overabundance of that and don't care if they eat it all!

Well, if you can harvest some ripe tomatoes without the worms eating them all, here is a super quick recipe for ya! No pics of this one, sorry!

Crunch-Top Tomatoes

Tip: DO NOT make this in a cast-iron skillet. It will turn nasty.

2 Large, ripe tomatoes
1 sleeve Ritz crackers,crushed (can use club crackers)
4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick), melted
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (can use any cheese here)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 small onion, chopped fine
Italian seasoning to taste

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in skillet. Slice tomatoes into thin wedges. Saute garlic and onion just until limp. Lay tomatoes on top in single layer. Saute lightly, turning once. In a bowl, mix salt, pepper, cracker crumbs, cheese and seasoning. Melt remaining butter in a bowl. Sprinkle cracker crumb mixture over tomatoes and drizzle with remaining butter. Let cook about another 3-5 minutes, just until your cheese gets melty. Do not turn or stir. Serve forth! This makes a great side for roasted chicken!


Cheryl said...

My gawd I have not seen an uglier bug! and its huge! I am about to get a bunch of ripe maters all at the same time!

Jan said...

Hi Raquel, if you plant basil alongside your tomatoes it repels a lot of the tomato loving bugs, like the hornworm. Alternatively, you can plant some dill which attracts the hornworm, as they like dill better than tomatoes or peppers.

Great sounding tomato recipe. I'm on the lookout for tomato recipes as we have loads of them.

Cora from Nelia's Primitive Place said...

I HATE those buggers!!!!! NASTY!!!!!

The recipe sounds soooooo good, though. Definitely copying that one down. Thank you!

And thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement today on my blog. It was so much appreciated!!!!! Glad you stopped by!


Jan said...

Well I do not like those worm things!! YUK!
Love the sound of crunch top tomatoes tho!!

Juri said...

I saw you at my sister, Cora's, blog and thought I would check your blog out...and I am so happy I did. I just wrote out the recipe and will be trying it very soon. Strange thing about those hideous year I had so many, this year absolutely none! I cannot imagine why, but I was certainly happy about it! Thanks for the recipe and I will check back for more!


Anonymous said...

O.M.G. That worm is DISGUSTING. Sorry, I cannot STAND insects of ANY kind. Guess gardening is out of the question for me. :)