My dog Jezebel died last week. She wasn’t sick, so it was a shock…a hard thing for my family to go through. (Not that it’s any easier when your animal is ill and you have time to “prepare”: I have been through that scenario a number of times and it’s very hard, too.)
Jez was a leonberger: they are very beautiful, very big dogs (she was 125 pounds). She was a fun-loving gal, and loved to play (and often caused mischief) with her brother Jake.
The unfortunate reality is that leonbergers (and other giant breeds) don’t live as long as smaller dogs. But because Jez was such a puppy at heart (even long after she stopped being an actual puppy), we hadn’t really faced the fact that she was getting on in years for the breed. She was 8 1/2 when she died, which is sadly about average as far as the leonberger lifespan goes :(
Jez wasn’t just a big dog…she had a seriously big personality! So her passing has left a big hole in our family. For a couple of days after it happened, I couldn’t do much of anything because I was too upset. Accomplishing the simplest of tasks was like trying to cross a river filled with molasses. It was so hard…I just wanted to lay in bed and cry.
On the third morning, though, I woke up and reflected on how Jez died outside under a tree where she’d spent a good deal of time since we moved to this house 6 years ago. I am guessing she enjoyed that spot a lot, and I believe she was happy each time she lay down there, even the last time. I’ve been told that it is a blessing for one’s dog to pass on in their sleep at home, as they are near their family and the surroundings that make them comfortable. Thinking about things this way has helped me to feel better.
Rest in peace, sweet girl.
Working in my garden has also helped me to feel better. Thank goodness for that, because it’s kind of a mess…it’s like the weeds are on steroids or something this year. But my garden is also bursting with many different types of heirloom tomatoes, and for that I am so grateful. I’ve been using them in all sorts of ways and will be sharing a few different tomato recipes with you in the coming weeks, beginning with this Roasted Cherry Tomato Frittata.
This frittata may not be appropriate for those super hot summer days when you don’t want to turn the oven on, but our weather has been blissfully pleasant as of late. And now’s the time for the best tomatoes, so get ’em while you can. I made this for my family last Sunday morning before we took my kids to sleep away camp and we all loved it; I hope your family loves it, too.
Recipe for Roasted Cherry Tomato Frittata
- *1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes I used both yellow and red ones from my garden; you may want to slice them in half if they are on the larger side, but left mine whole
- *2 large cloves garlic sliced
- *2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- *fresh thyme leaves from 2-3 sprigs
- *Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- *5 large eggs preferably pastured (I used eggs from my chickens)
- *3/4 cup milk I used raw, whole milk
- *1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese feel free to use more if you want a more decadent frittata, or use another cheese, if you like: I bet goat cheese, feta, parmesan or cheddar would all be tasty, plus more for sprinkling on top of the finished frittata
- *small handful of fresh basil leaves minced or cut "chiffonade" (or use parsley, or a combination of basil and parsley)
- 1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, toss tomatoes and garlic with oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and spread out onto a baking sheet. Roast tomatoes for about 30 minutes, then transfer them, along with their juices, to a baking dish. You may use a circular baking dish (one that is either 8 or 9-inches in diameter will work), or a square one (I used a glass dish that is 8x8 inches). Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- 2. Whisk together eggs, milk, 1/4 cup of cheese, and a pinch of salt, then pour mixture over tomatoes.
- Bake until top is golden brown and edges are puffed, 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the frittata with the basil and additional cheese, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature...cold leftovers are delicious, as well.