Christmas Gifts from the Garden: Tomato Oil

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Well, hello there!  I'm Michele, Sally's sister-in-law.  I'm a Mom to two children, I like to cook, I like to take photos and generally be artistic. I also get to enjoy so many goodies from the garden (lucky me!). So, Sally asked me if I'd like to take part in this blogging business.  I said "yes!”  So, away we go! :)
Remember those tomatoes exploding out of the cabin garden this year? After we recovered from the sheer volume of the harvest, a recipe hunt became vital to making the most of those flavorful gems. You know that funny scene about shrimp variations in Forest Gump “...there’s, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp...”. Well, that’s kind of how I view our cabin garden tomatoes. The options were endless when it came to those delicious little buggers. Which, as it also turns out, resulted in some fantastic gift-able creations!
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The latest reincarnation of our tomatoes is something Cathy, my Mother-in-Law, calls “tomato oil”. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about it at first - but boy, OH BOY - that tangy, intense garlic-spiced oil/dip was dee-lish! It was served with warm breadsticks for dunking (are you drooling yet?).
Upon seeing the positive reaction to this recipe, Cathy (always busy and industrious - where does she get her stamina?) pulled out a stash of tomato oil to package up as holiday gifts for our friends and teachers. Well, THANKS Cath! :)
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Sal, "Aunty Hehe" and myself went straight to work with festive decorative packaging, and our oils (we also packaged up grapeseed infused oil).  Packaging the various containers was a bit overwhelming at first, but we quickly got over it and designed creative embellishments that might have even impressed Martha Stewart (well, at least we thought so).
See, aren’t they cute?!!
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My plan is to give this "gift " from our family cabin garden to my children's well-deserving teachers.  Trust me, they know AAALLLL about the cabin (both share about the cabin in their classrooms for a least a month after each trip up). So, I figure the teachers will get a kick out of the gift.
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Maybe I’ve inspired you to “gift” something meaningful to someone dear to you? Or, perhaps you want to make some of your own tomato oil to lap up with some crusty bread. Either way, you can’t go wrong. ;)
Cheers and happy holiday dipping!

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Christmas Gifts from the Garden: Tomato Oil
Author: The Cabin Garden
Tomato Oil
  • 2-3 quarts tomatoes (wash and blanch, mash or dice up
  • 6-7 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • diced hot peppers - to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • salt, sugar and basil - to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in pan, add add garlic and crushed peppers
  2. Cook garlic and peppers until caramelized
  3. Add onion until sauteed
  4. Add the tomatoes, and oregano fresh from the garden
  5. Simmer until thickened to your liking
  6. About ½ way through, add salt and sugar to taste
  7. Use for dipping with crusty bread stix, or put on chicken or pork.
  8. Top it off with fresh basil before serving
  9. Freeze, or refrigerate up to a month


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