The Great Gilbert Cover-up

The flower season is coming to an abrupt cold end.


Last Saturday I picked every dahlia bud that even gave a hint of flowering and then the great coverup began. My husband Ronnie and my friend Carol helped to cover up every dahlia. We threw tarps over some, and blankets, sheets and a few plastic tablecloths over others.


Seeing that I was desperate, Carol even got a rain poncho out of her car.


After all that, the frost still struck in my little yard in Gilbert and some of the tips of the plants turned brown. Interestingly, people on the mountain didn’t get frost on the weekend.


I was hopeful as I saw more buds poking out Monday, but Tuesday widespread frost set in.


I also picked every tomato I could. This is the perfect time of the year for fresh tomato soup. This is an awesome recipe from “Feasts for a Farthing” by Molly Finn. This is just one of my favorite books as it has simple, refreshing recipes. You can add cream, though I never have. It’s so incredible without it. I skip the salt, too. You don’t even need it.


Tomato Soup

6 large ripe tomatoes

1 large onion, sliced

2 T. olive oil

1 T. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried

1/2 tsp. thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Sugar if necessary

½ c. Light or heavy cream



Drop tomatoes briefly into boiling water, peel them, cut into chunks.


Saute onion in olive oil until transparent, but not brown. Add herbs, 1 tsp. salt and pepper and tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add stock and simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered. Taste and reason.


Put soup through blender, sieve or food processor. Stir in cream, taste again and season as needed. Serve with croutons. Good cold or hot.


Here’s a tip for those green tomatoes. Put them in a closed paper bag and they’ll get ripe. Check them every day and when they are ripe put them in a colander.

This is a great way to space out the tomatoes for a few more weeks.

You thought I was going to give you recipes for green tomatoes? Nah. I’d rather eat them red the way they’re supposed to be.

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