Yid.Dish: What to Do When Your Garden Explodes in Bounty

By Jeannette Hartman

Published September 11, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Q: What do you do when you have so many home grown zucchini your friends won’t answer the door when you try to share your harvest?

A: Find a car with an open window.

The triumph and the tragedy of the summer growing season is the sheer fecundity of gardens and farms. How to partake of fruits and vegetables at their peak without relying on the same old recipes?

Lois M. Burrows and Laura G. Myers offer a mouth-watering solution with their book, Too Many Tomatoes … Squash, Beans, and other Good Things; a Cookbook for When Your Garden Explodes.

Originally published in 1976 and reissued in 1991, this book would be completely at home on shelf beside Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. The recipes focus on more than 20 vegetables that are typically abundant in late summer gardens. The ingredients are generally few and simple, leaving the glory of the vegetables to shine.

The recipes draw from diverse cultures such as Greek, Italian, Mexican, Spanish and Midwestern American. They range from long-standing favorites such as herbed snap bean salad, coleslaws and corn fritters to the exotic and unexpected such as tomato cake and broccoli guacamole. From canapés to soup to sauces to main dishes, this cookbook has it covered.

Here’s the recipe for fresh tomato cake. It’s spicy and lightly sweet.

1 cup dark brown sugar

½ cup shortening

2 eggs

½ cup chopped nuts

½ cup chopped dates

½ cup raisins

2 cups peeled, cubed tomatoes

3 cups sifted flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

8 ounces cream cheese

½ cups confectioner’s sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

Cream the sugar and shortening. Add eggs, nuts, dates, raisings and tomatoes. Sift dry ingredients into the tomato mixture. Pour into a greased and floured 9” x 13”pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serves 8.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.