Tag Archives: Tomato pie

The Cost of Costco

The August Break 2013, Day Seven

I went to Costco yesterday to buy things for our week at Edisto beach (South Carolina) next week.

Cost of Costco

Surprise. I bought a lot of things not on my list.

Surprise. The bill was really big.

This is why I don’t go to Costco very often.

I looked over the receipt when I got home and realized that it wasn’t as bad as I thought initially. Once I subtracted the items that are really for home, the bill was a third less. Then when I considered that I was buying food for seven days, three meals a day plus snacks for 6-12 people (and some are teenagers), I realized that it was really about $7 per person per day. Okay. Not bad at all–a bargain in fact. I feel much better.

We decided to rent this beach house for a week because we wanted a place to relax before the busyness of fall set in. We also thought that since Edisto is only an hour and a half from Charleston that it would be a great opportunity to invite our friends down to enjoy a day or two before the end of summer. Thankfully a number of friends have accepted our invitation and we will have a variety of people in and out all week long. We can’t wait!

I guess the cost of Costco is not so great after all.

By the way, I will be making delicious Edisto tomato pie. Click here for my recipe. I imagine shrimp and grits will be on the menu as well. Naturally we will be picking up our Geechie Boy Grits from our dear friends Betsy and Greg Johnsman at Geechie Boy Market and Mill on Edisto Island. Click here, here and here to read more about them.


My Favorite Ways to Celebrate Summer Holidays Southern-style

Summer-time. Long days…relaxing weekends…fresh produce…family and friends….

The Fourth of July holiday combines all of these great things.

Flags Flying Freely

Flags Flying Freely / Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

This year we celebrated July 4th the way we have for years. We enjoyed a great meal with a dear friend whose wife and three children were away. Afterwards we took a few pitchers of frozen drinks to our next door neighbor’s house and enjoyed fireworks and conversation with neighbors.

Fourth of July Dinner, blackberry peach cobbler

Fourth of July Dinner / Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

We cooked New York strips on the grill–this was the first day that it had not rained in almost a week.

Hydrangeas and flags

Hydrangeas and flags / Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

Despite my poorly timed pruning this past fall, my hydrangea bushes produced enough flowers for our centerpiece.

vintage American flag

Dr. Billy’s flag / Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

This flag once belonged to my stepfather and was flown for many years from the porch of his Charleston house. Given the age of the flag, we prefer to display it inside these days.

Garden & Gun, Charleston Magazine, Local Palete

Keeping current / Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

With the fourth falling on a Thursday this year, we were able to stretch out the weekend which allowed me time to peruse three of my favorite magazines: Garden & Gun, Charleston Magazine and Palate.

Edisto tomato pie

Tomato pie / Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

With a counter-top full of ripe, home-grown tomatoes, I could not resist making a tomato pie. If you want my recipe, click here.

Boiled peanuts, South Carolina, southern

Boiled peanuts / Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

No Southern, summer gathering is complete without freshly boiled peanuts. I picked these up at Ruke’s Vegetable Stand on Mathis Ferry Road in Mt. Pleasant.


Watermelon / Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

Watermelon. What else can I say?

Blackberry Peach Cobbler, recipe, Gourmet

Blackberry Peach Cobbler / Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

We finished everything off with a delicious Blackberry Peach Cobbler using the fresh fruit I picked up at Boone Hall Farms vegetable stand. Below is the recipe I used.

Blackberry Peach Cobbler

Gourmet | September 2005
yield:Makes 12 servings
active time:25 min
total time:1 1/2 hr (includes cooling)


  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 lb blackberries (5 cups)
  • 2 lb peaches (6 medium), peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons whole milk


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish (3-quart capacity).

Whisk together cornstarch and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl, then add blackberries and peaches and toss to combine well. Transfer to baking dish and bake until just bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes.

While fruit bakes, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in another large bowl, then blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and stir just until a dough forms.

Drop dough onto hot fruit mixture in 12 mounds (about 1/3 cup each), then sprinkle dough with remaining teaspoon sugar. Bake cobbler until top is golden, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Cooks’ note: Cobbler can be baked 6 hours ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Before serving, let stand at room temperature 1 hour, then reheat in a preheated 350°F oven until warm, about 20 minutes.

The Secret of Summer? Tomato Pie

Edisto tomato pie

Tomato pie. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Tomato pie is synonymous with summertime in South Carolina–especially in the Lowcountry.

I remember the first time I tasted this delectable treat. I was staying with friends at Edisto Beach and our hostess had purchased a tomato pie from one of the road-side vegetable stands. With the first bite, I fell in love with the salty, acidic, creamy, cheesy dish served up in a flaky, buttery pastry shell.

Over the years I have eaten my share of pie and have worked on perfecting a recipe of my own (see below).

This past weekend I stopped by the road-side vegetable stand not far from my house. Run by Boone Hall Farms (http://www.boonehallfarms.com/), this stand is open virtually year-round. They have a great market/cafe a bit further up Highway 17, but I love the  red and white tent that sits in the midst of the u-pick fields.

Boone Hall Farm

I love to wander over to the fields to see what is growing. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries were still available, according to the signs but I didn’t seem to make it past the rows of tomatoes.

tomato fields

At this point in the summer they are still in their teenage state of greenness.

tomato vines

Fortunately they had some vine-ripened tomatoes from Florida.


 These tables will be overflowing in a few weeks. I can’t wait.


South Carolina peaches are just appearing but they need to ripen a bit more. I decided to give them another week or two.

peach crates


Sandy smiled and laughed as she rang up all of the produce I purchased.


What are your favorite road-side vegetable stand finds? Do you have any favorite recipes that use fresh produce? I hope that you will share them here.

slice of pie

Edisto Tomato Pie 

1 (9-inch) pie shell

1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

2-3 large tomatoes*, peeled and sliced or chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried minced onions

dash of red pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons flour

4-5 fresh basil leaves chopped

dash of paprika

  1. Beat egg white with water. Brush over unbaked pie shell. Line pie shell with parchment paper and pie weights (can also use dried beans). Bake pie shell according to directions. Cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Peel and slice or chop tomatoes. Gently squeeze tomatoes to remove excess liquid and place in a bowl. (*If you don’t have good, home-grown tomatoes then you can use a mix of tomatoes. I always replace a cup of grape tomatoes sliced in half for one of the tomatoes because they are always tart and good). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix mayonnaise and shredded cheddar together in a bowl. Add half of the parmesan cheese. Add minced onions and a dash of red pepper and mix.
  5. Put flour in bowl. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon to reduce liquid and place in bowl with flour. Toss tomatoes in flour.
  6. Place tomatoes in bottom of the cooled pie shell. Add remaining salt and pepper, garlic powder and basil leaves.
  7. Spread mayonnaise-cheese mix evenly over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and paprika.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.