Monday, 2 April 2012

Sarah knows how to play it

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my work is getting to know the people whom I create cards and albums for. I often receive photos of these people, learn about their interests and hobbies and consequently get to know them, if not personally, in a very small way. Very occasionally I actually meet the person I have made a card or album for.
Back in February you may remember that I took part in a wonderful Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt for bloggers. Arriving at the event I immediately recognised one of the faces in the group and, after a moments thought, realised that it was a guy who I made a wedding card for some months previously. I suspect I freaked him out just a little bit by telling him that I knew who he was, even though he didn't know me, but he took it well and he was kind enough to tell me just how much he and his wife loved their special card.
Well, we are now friends on facebook and recently this same guy contacted me and asked me to make a card for his mum's 60th birthday. His mum is a great cook, he told me, and makes gigantic meals of twenty dishes and more, including meat, pies, soups, salads and all kinds of fancy food. She volunteers in the Yad Sarah organisation which provides free medical aid for needy populations, and uses email and facebook too. In her son's opinion she is the classic example of a Polish mother, so he thought that Poland's flag should probably be on the card as well. The Hebrew greeting on the card says "שרה יודעת לשחק אותה", "Sarah knows how to play it."
Whilst we're talking about cooking, not long ago a friend asked me to bring a vegetarian dish along to a meal we were having together, one that would be good for me - the token vegetarian - but also something everyone else would happily dig in to. These stuffed tomatoes seemed to fit the bill. They tasted great and looked pretty too, so I took a photograph of them!
Want the recipe? It comes from Rose Elliot's 'Complete Vegetarian Cookbook'.
Tomatoes stuffed with Pine Nuts (Serves 4)

4 large tomatoes, weighing about 225g (8oz) each
Sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
125g (4 oz) pine nuts
125g (4 oz) soft wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
Freshly ground black pepper

Set the oven to 190° C (375° F), gas mark 5. Wash the tomatoes, slice off the tops and scoop out the seeds with a spoon - they will not be needed for this recipe, although they can be made into a good sauce to serve with it. Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with a little salt and place them upside down in a colander to drain while you prepare the stuffing. To do this, heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for about 7 minutes, until softening, then remove for the heat and stir in the pine nuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley and thyme; season. Arrange the tomatoes in a lightly-greased, shallow, ovenproof dish and fill each with some of the nut mixture, dividing it between them. Then replace the sliced-off tops, if you like, and bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes until they're tender.
Finally, this a is a sneak peak of another version of this card. The weather has really brightened up here and in a few days time we will celebrate the beginning of Passover. Spring is most definitely here and this sweet little bird sitting amongst the flowers really says 'springtime' to me. To those of us busy preparing for the Passover holidays, happy cleaning. We're very nearly there!


Wendy ten Hove said...

Oeh, those tomatoes surely look very, very tasty!! Love those! Your card is very nice, the salad is perfect! And the preview looks very promising as well, pretty colors!!
Hugs, Wendy

Additionsstyle said...

You have a great memory. I am sure that guy was surprised, but now you have him as a customer for life. Your tomatoes look really tasty, thanks for sharing the recipe.
Everyday Inspired