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  • Jennifer Stewart

Remember the 90's?

These days I want to feel hopeful for what’s ahead. Not just for me but for my kids. I like to think that leading our lives with love will get us back to the good days of doing what we love and not living our lives in fear. And those good days for me were the 90’s. When there was no internet. No cell phones. Just corded coiled phones with a dial tone and answering machines. Things like Madonna tapes, Jumping on Trampolines, Night time walks with your bestie, Slumber Parties, Puppy Chow and picking lilacs out of your grandma’s yard were what were most important and that was just enough. I miss those days.

I have a beautiful memory of my grandmother back when I was in 4H. I had taken gardening that summer and the tomatoes that I was suppose to submit for judging to take to the County Fair grew awful that year. Rotted actually. And well, my grandmother and I went to the local vegetable store out on the outskirts of town and bought tomatoes to submit for competition… So to be perfectly transparent, my grandmother okay’d me to purchase store bought tomatoes to submit to the county fair….. and well, I got a blue ribbon. A BLUE RIBBON! Which meant you got to take your product to the State Fair. Alas, because we were honest people, I did not accept this ribbon and gave it to the runner up. But I remember having a really good laugh with my grandmother that summer. And learned many of lessons…

There is much to be said for a good homegrown tomato and ever since I planted mine this spring I knew I wanted to make homemade salsa. So this is my good day-homegrown tomato salsa recipe that I know you will love… Perfect for the summer heat and backyard BBQ’s!! And I swear I used my tomatoes and not the stores.




HOMEGROWN TOMATO SALSA RECIPE

By Joanna Gaines (and ME)!!

¼ Red Onion, coarsely chopped

1 ½ Pounds Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Cut into Large Pieces

¼ Cup Coarsely Chopped Fresh Cilantro (I added more like a ½ - cup of this because I love Cilantro)

2 Jalapenos, Coarsely Chopped

1 Garlic Clove

Juice of ½ Lime

¼ Tsp of Salt

Tortilla Chips for Serving

1. In a food processor, pulse the onion until finely diced. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos, and garlic and pulse until well chopped.

2. Stir in the lime juice and salt

3. Serve with tortilla chips

4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

My garden is that peaceful place for me that fills my heart up with joy every time I get to pick something I grew out of it. I’m like that child from the 90’s and the coiled telephone listening to Cherish by Madonna. Super giddy and can’t stop smiling when I come into the kitchen with a basket full of vegetables!! I am pairing my incredibly delicious homegrown salsa with a little Madonna today. Because she knows how to make you dance. She knows how to make you feel good. And she also knows how to make you feel young again. Cherish was from her Like a Prayer Album from 1989. Which, I just learned celebrated it’s 30 year Anniversary last March. Wow. I am OLD. But she is still so gooooooooooood.





Madonna reminds me of my brave self. A trait I would love to pass on to my daughter. Brave gets you out of your comfort zone and allows you to see the World and see the people in it. I know we will never get back to the 90’s … I know my children will not know the World without cell phones in our hands or a TV or computer accessible at all times. Deep down I would love to just live like the Amish do and keep our day to day simple. But I know that I can still teach that too. Even if it’s from a garden. I’ll allow that simplicity to weave through my children’s hearts. Even if it’s through a homegrown Tomato.

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