These Final Summer Days


Have you noticed? The days of summer are bending over like the heavy heads of sunflowers. Gone are the lazy days of July when my little girls are woken up not by my prodding in the darkness but by rumbling tummies with sunshine streaming through the windows. School starts next week, and I don’t know that I’m ready. I think this next week will be crammed with registration, orientation, last-minute school shopping, uniform fitting, and math review. Another summer trip to the zoo? Yeah, probably not going to happen.

Yet as the shadows of summer lengthen, I find great joy in going out to my garden every day. While I sadly watched my zucchini and cucumber plants surrender to the appetite of the squash bugs last week, my jalapeño and tomato plants are thriving. What a thrill to have the ability to can, share, and eat such fresh bounty! 


While I will take the time to can the tomatoes, I’m still partial to recipes that are quick on prep time. So whether you’ve spent all day in the kitchen canning produce or rushing around with work and the start of a new school year, this is a recipe that’s easy and quick. Perfect for allowing more time to savor the final blaze of summer glory. 


Cheesy Tomatoes

adapted from Real Simple

  • 4 large slicing tomatoes, such as beefsteaks (plan about one tomato per person)
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • 2 cups shredded or sliced mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil; coat or spray lightly with vegetable oil.
  2. Core and slice each tomato into 1″ thick slices. Arrange slices on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide cheese over slices. Sprinkle with parmesan.
  5. Place sheet of tomatoes on preheated grill; cover. Cook over medium-high heat until cheese is melted, bubbling, and starting to brown. or Place sheet under oven broiler and cook until cheese is melted, bubbling, and starting to brown.
  6. Serve over cooked pasta tossed with oil, garlic, crumbled bacon, and fresh basil, if desired, or serve as an appetizer or side dish.

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