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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Beans, Corn, Maters and Peaches —They’re All Ready Now

By Sherrie Norris

This time of year could easily send a food columnist over the edge while trying to decide which garden vegetable or fruit to feature next. 

As most of you know, especially if you have followed this column for any amount of time, I do try to keep things seasonal and often focus on one food at a time.

But, usually around this same time every year, I also begin to panic as I realize I’m running out of time — the beans, corn,  tomatoes and peaches  are “coming in” all at the same time and might just have to share space here. 

So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to just throw out as many recipes as I can to  include these delectable late summer produts. They likely appear together on most tables during this season, anyway, so let’s just take it as it comes and enjoy every single morsel while we can. There’s nothing quite like a homegrown “mess” of beans, a fresh ear of corn, a big juicy red tomato and peaches from the flatlands to round out a summer supper in the country. Yum yum!!

Fresh Tomato Pie

1 (9-inch) frozen deep dish pie shell

3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

 ¾ cup Duke’s mayonnaise

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped 

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Bake pie shell according to package directions until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place tomatoes in colander and sprinkle with salt. Let drain, tossing several times. With paper towels, press down to blot out even more of the liquid.

Turn oven down to 350.

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and cheeses. 

Layer tomatoes in baked pie shell, sprinkle with basil. Season with salt and pepper. Top with mayonnaise-cheese mixture and spread evenly over the top. Bake in center of oven for 30 minutes until golden brown on top. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Savory Corn Bake

1 cup milk

½ cup mayonnaise

1 egg, well beaten

2 cups whole kernel corn

1 cup herb seasoned stuffing

1 small onion, minced

1 tsp. parsley flakes

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2 Tbs. butter or margarine

Combine milk and mayonnaise; mix well. Add egg, corn, stuffing, onion and parsley. Pour into greased and floured baking dish. Toss bread crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over mixture. Bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

Sauteed Fresh Green Beans and Tomatoes

4 slices bacon

3 medium onions, sliced

4 cups fresh green beans, snapped or left whole

2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled, sliced and diced

1 tsp. salt

½  tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup boiling water

In large skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove and crumble. In bacon grease, sauté sliced onions until tender and light brown. Add green beans and lightly sauté. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and water. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until beans are tender. Stir in bacon and serve.

Easy Peachy Cobbler

8 peaches, pitted and cut into bowl into eight equal slices, (adding just a little water to make juice)

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. almond or vanilla extract

1 box yellow cake mix

¼  cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375. In bottom of a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, place sliced peaches. Mix together brown sugar, almond or vanilla extract and ¼ cup peach juice, spreading over peaches. 

Sprinkle cake mix over peaches and sugar mixture, stirring lightly to combine. Sprinkle almonds into an even layer over the top of the peach and cake batter mixture. Spread onto top the 8 Tbsp. melted butter.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden.