Debbie Dance Uhrig
While the tomatoes are juicy and plump on the vine consider a few glasses of fresh tomato punch. For those who like to keep track of their sodium and preservatives this is an excellent alternative. My favorite part is the fact that tomato juices can be canned with a simple hot water bath. Back in my early teaching days I would usually enjoy a V8 about mid-morning. It kept me going until lunchtime. Personally I think this drink is a great substitute as an appetizer. For garnishes there are a million avenues to pursue: pickled green beans, olives, celery stalks, baby tomatoes and mini peppers would look good.
As you review the ingredients the amount of horseradish may make a few folks hesitate. First be sure and use ground horseradish, not horseradish ‘sauce’. If you are using caution add only one tablespoon and then sample before adding more. I promise this is your secret enhancer. The addition of the horseradish just makes this tomato drink ‘Sit up and Sing’, as I always say.
Quart jars would probably be the best vehicle for canning, as a pint would only hold 2 cups. Once again I would consider freezing the drink in ice cube trays so the beverage doesn’t dilute upon serving. Be sure and read the instruction below thoroughly. This is a drink that needs to be made in advance, at least overnight or 8 hours ahead of time.
For those not interested in making their own tomato juice, commercial will always work. I’m sitting here thinking that a small platter of hard cheese and specialty crackers would make this perfect. Perhaps cheese and drinks about 5pm and dinner at 7? Steak or Meatloaf sound like a good pairing for the tomato punch. Oh my, I may need to head for the kitchen because this is teasing my palate something fierce!
One important thing to consider is the tomato seeds. Well, they’ve got to go! If you use a food processor you will need to core, deseed and peel before pulverizing. For quick skin removal dip the tomatoes, for a few seconds, in boiling water and they will slip off easily.
Technically the tomato is a fruit but it is consumed in this country as a vegetable. Along with broccoli the tomato is a fantastic cancer fighting food. It also contains high amounts of potassium.
When I think of the summer fruits and vegetables the tomato always takes the lead. We wait with anticipation for the first taste of the ruby red fruit.
Personally I dream of homemade BLT’s and plates of sliced tomatoes. I’ve told my family many times that the biggest thing I would miss about a Missouri summer is the tomatoes.
Another reminder about the consumption of fresh produce. When we eat products raised in our gardens we receive a much higher protein and nutrient value. Grocery store produce can be picked as early as two weeks, before it reaches the consumer. This means we lose nutrient development along with flavor and sweetness.
The air is refreshing and our steps feel a little lighter, with the cooler air. Embrace the day and cook up a storm! Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Spicy Tomato Punch
4 cups tomato juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (hot sauce)
Garnish with celery sticks
Mix all ingredients in a large container, stirring well. Cover and place in refrigerator for 8 hours or at least overnight. Flavors will blend and the punch will be ready to garnish with celery sticks or other additional vegetables. Makes about 6, eight ounce servings. Great straight or could be used for Bloody Mary’s.