The seasons change.  The weather turns.  We pack the car with precious cargo and drive.  It has been a little more than three years, and he has been waiting to return back to the place he loved most.  A place that holds tender memories for all of us.  It is hard to separate out feelings but a hard walk up a mountain leads to the conclusion, the closure we needed.  And once all was laid to rest we couldn't help but realize the amazing task we all accomplished together...Gone yet not forgotten.  

    The Catskill region of New York State is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  It isn't hard to see why my grandfather loved it so much.  Walking through the woods at this time of year you can find wild fruit everywhere. Blackberries, apples and grapes.  In the back of my mind I am thinking, "Dam, I really wish I had thought to bring a basket." Wild blackberries are so much better then store brought ones; sweeter, less seedy, and perfectly sized.  Keeping still the task at hand, we all had fun nibbling on a few handfuls and remembering.  The property may no longer belong to our family, but the memories and whispers that linger will always be ours.  One tiny marked grave will forever be hiding in the hills, under the shade of a single pine tree.                    
    It was a long beautiful weekend, but I came home and realized that I still have tomatoes, so many tomatoes.  My hands are begging me to relax from canning.  They threw up the little white flag and what I thought would be a nice long weekend to recoup, didn't quite solve the problem just yet.  The weather turned cooler overnight, so what better way to warm up the house in the morning then to make some baked eggs.  I have seen a recipe like this one before, but I always knew I wanted to try it with some additional pesto.  And why not top everything with a few chives, you can never go wrong with chives.  This was just the type of breakfast I needed to get me back into the swing of everyday life.      

Baked Eggs in Whole Tomatoes

Serves six - Adapted from Whole Living

6 large tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
3 teaspoons pesto, divided
6 large eggs
chives to garnish

Heat oven to 400°F. Slice the top third off tomatoes and scoop out most of the insides with a spoon. Arrange the tomatoes in a baking dish, spoon 1/2 teaspoon of pesto into each tomato and spread it around the insides.  Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over all the tomatoes.  Roast until tomatoes are tender but still holding their shape, about 15 minutes.  At which point crack an egg into each tomato and season it with salt and pepper. Bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 9 minutes more.  Garnish with chives and serve warm with toast or crusty bread.  (You will definitely need something to soak up all of this wonderful meal)

“So was I once myself a swinger of birches.  And so I dream of going back to be.”   - Robert Frost



09/18/2013 1:40pm

I have never been to the Catskills, but I hear the beauty is boundless. It sounds as if this visit was a bittersweet one, although the pain of your loss was softened by nature's arms, It seems, though it has offered come closure for you, and that is a good thing.

This dish looks great, and your photographs are really beautiful. Isn't it amazing how many tomatoes a garden can really produce? It can be a challenge to find new ways to use them. By January, though I am always wishing for more, having forgotten the overflowing bowls scattered all over my kitchen in August and September. I've got to try this recipe My husband will love it. I am sure. Thanks!

09/18/2013 2:03pm

Thanks for your kind words Adri. I feel the same as you, once tomatoes are not longer around and the farmers markets are over I will definitely be missing them. I just hope that I canned enough to make sure I won't miss them too much :)

09/18/2013 1:43pm

A beautiful tribute post Sandra. And you're right, I can understand why your grandfather had such a strong attachment to this part of the world. How nice that you were able to return there, the whole family, to celebrate his life. Your baked eggs look scrumptious and I love that you lined them with pesto... such a great idea and I bet it adds deliciously to the flavour. (my dad's favourite tree was the birch; love the Frost quote and the maples surrounding the river).

09/18/2013 2:06pm

My heart is always in the Catskill mountains. It is so beautiful and I love that we get to visit every year :) But that little river is one that I played in when I was a child...even though the years have changed how it looks I can still see it the way it was. I caught my first fish there...along with lots of salamanders. be a child again!!!

09/18/2013 3:11pm

I'm not a big breakfast person at all... most days it's a yogurt in the car on the way to work. But I must say, I'm dying to try this in the next few days for breakfast! It looks so good, and I still have a few lingering tomatoes braving the sudden fall weather in the backyard garden.

...and I'm sure your hands are aching for a break from all that canning. How many jars do you have stockpiled at this point? 100? 1000?

09/18/2013 4:33pm

I really wish I had been counting Chris. I already have given alot away but I am running out of space in my dinning room. One of these days I'm going to take them all out and count ;)

09/19/2013 11:20am

I to have so many tomatoes left and need to pick them because the air is getting cool - this recipes looks like a delish way to use them up!

Also, I can see why your Grandfather loved that looks beautiful!

09/19/2013 12:28pm

Thanks Shelly. Doing everything I can to get as many tomatoes now as I can :)

09/19/2013 12:04pm

What a lovely post Sandra... isn't amazing how certain places can bring back such strong memories & feelings? It's very special. And such a beautiful part of the country too! Filled with lots of wild, edible treasures :)
Your baked eggs look fab- I've never heard of them cooked inside of tomatoes before. Such a lovely transitional recipe. Especially with that pesto!!! xo

09/19/2013 12:32pm

Thanks Emilie, gotta love pesto...when I have some fresh I try to use it on everything ;)

10/02/2013 5:11am

This is such a great idea! In spite of the wintery chill that has already set in here, we're still getting some tomatoes at the farmer's market. This looks like such a beautiful weekend brunch situation. I've recently done a spin of eggs in a hole myself which may inspire you for the autumn. Recipe coming soon!

10/02/2013 7:35pm

Oh...I can't wait to see Katie! I'll be keeping an eye out for it :) We love breakfast at our house.

12/05/2013 3:05pm

Look so good... a great idea! Will go for it.

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