Tomato Harvest on Christmas Eve + Steamy Kitchen on TV

I had my first tomato harvest, on Christmas Eve. Of course, I don’t consider the green tomatoes that fell off from the branch of my bigger tomato plant that broke as “harvest.” But then again, the term “harvest” is really relative, isn’t it?

Can 2 little 1-inch golden grape tomatoes be called a harvest?

Golden Grape Tomatoes

Sliced each teeny tiny grape tomato with an exacto-knife. Thai basil from my garden, Maldon sea salt, fresh ground pepper and Bariani Olive Oil

Tomato Harvest on Christmas Eve


Steamy Kitchen on TV

Another blogger dish cooked on television!Β  I made David Lebovitz’s Coconut Frozen Yogurt last week. Oh my god was I exhausted that morning! I had just flown in from teaching 2 classes in Los Angeles late evening and Nathan had 103F fever and kept waking up. Slept for 1 hour, woke at 4am to get to the studio for 6:40am on-air.

Things I learned this time:

a) Horizontal Stripes. BAD. My arms looked as wide as an elephant’s trunk.

b) Trying to look perkier than 1 hour’s worth of sleep with a bouncy ponytail. HORRENDOUS. I can’t out-perk Rachel Ray, even with a pony-tail.

c) Schlepping frozen ice cream insert from home to station, 30 minute car ride in a cooler with ice. STUPID IDEA. I made the fro-yo at the studio, but the yogurt didn’t freeze completely! At the end of the news broadcast, the news anchors all come back into the kitchen with me to finish up and see the final dish. You won’t see this part in the online video clip, but we all pretended it was frozen!! haha!!Β  Of course, this was just days after I emailed Greg tips on ice cream photography! DUH! (btw, he got to meet Todd English. I’m so jealous. Todd has soft hands. Is it strange that I like men with soft hands?! I digress. Another post, I promise.)

I did manage to look at the camera more and for the most part, it went really well. In the next few days, I’ll post a poll for which blogger dish to cook on my next broadcast, January 22nd. Send any nominations in the comments below!

Here is the link to the clip – click on the “Featured Video” right above the photo. They use Windows Media Player.


Message from the Boys

Oh yeah, the boys wanted to say, “Merry Christmas!” to you!

Here they are with their new monkey dolls that Mimi (grandma) hand made for them. I had one of these when I was little, in fact, I think my Mom kept it for me. Did you have one?


I love it. I’m an evil temptress! If my cooking career on television tanks, nice to know I could have an alternate career in soft porn. πŸ˜‰

xoxo, jaden

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Comments 36

  1. one food guy

    Oh how I’m envious of all you in warmer climates. It’s been months already since my garden has withered to the weather.

    Here in Boston my “fresh” tomatoes are coming from hot houses in Maine, Canada and other worldly locations. Spring time soon come!

  2. Christima

    Like one food guy, my tomatoes are also long-withered. Unfortunately, I loathe weather above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

    What’s a cold climate-loving food-addict to do?

    I even tried growing them inside this fall, but in my dorm if they’re anywhere near where they can get sunlight, they’re close enough to a window to be too cold. My poor cherry tomatoes lasted through about mid-November…

  3. Jozet at Halushki

    Happy Holidays, you saucy thang! πŸ˜‰

    I have to tell you, I’ve been cooking many of your recipes lately and you are making me look very, very good. Usually, I can’t boil water. But it’s been all thumbs up at our house for every Jaden recipe I’ve prepared.

    Thank you and thank you!

    And your boys are absolutely adorable.

  4. Nora

    Gorgeous photos as always.

    Merry Christmas, Jaden. I hope that you and your family will have a wonderful day and also best wishes for 2008.

    x Nora

  5. Jeff

    Merry Christmas, Jaden.

    2008: Year of the Steamy Kitchen.

    Mark my words. Have I ever been wrong before?

    Cheers, and best to you, Scott and the boys.


  6. Kat

    my cherry tomato plants first gave me two cherry tomatoes too. then four…then two…then four…I think they are almost done.

    Merry Christmas!

  7. JEP

    Only you can pull-off a great post about 2 grape tomatoes:) Never had one of those monkeys. The boys get more adorable with each pix! Enjoy your family on Christmas!

  8. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

    Your first tomatoes. How exciting! There is nothing like a sweet, plump and juicy tomato from your own garden. Enjoy them!

    Merry Christmas! I told Santa to take good care of those two adorable boys of yours! πŸ˜‰

  9. Neece

    Hey Jaden!
    Happy Happy Holidays from our monkey gallery to yours! :o)
    And here’s to 2008 being a year of great prosperity for Steamy Kitchen, and all the rest of us, too.
    Those tomatoes look YUMMY! :o)
    Then again you make everything look delicious. :o)
    And you are so much better than Rachel Ray, who I like. But you are way cooler!

  10. ZenKimchi

    Merry Christmas to you all too!

    Another great appearance–and I feel for you. Trying to perform in a cold studio early in the morning with no sleep is rough.

    Granted, I could think of rougher things–but those wouldn’t work in my empathetic spiel.

    Oh, and I’m sure you know where that reborn Fro-Yo craze came from… yes…?

  11. Hal

    The tomato salad looks lovely–actually, quite a bit like haute cuisine! And, so simple–I might have to link back from my site just to show to simple a really good looking (and fancy-looking) dish can be.

    Thanks for sharing about your most recent experience with TV. I know you do this for a living, but how did you ever get comfortable demonstrating in front of people (in a class or on TV).

    Merry Christmas to you!

    (P.S., I hope you’ve been checking back occasionally–I’ve tried to put some of your picture tips in practice, and I think the pictures look a thousand times better!)

  12. Cynthia

    There is nothing quite like fresh homegrown tomatoes, dressed with the bare minimum – a true delight.

    Merry Christmas to you and the family. Continued success!

  13. joey

    Yes, two tomatoes counts are a harvest! πŸ™‚ Especially if they are from your own garden, you lucky, lucky girl!

    Happy holidays to you and your family!

  14. Bellini Valli

    The boys are so cute with their monkey dolls with each of their initials. I hope that 2008 is all that you hope for with happiness, LOVE and contentment. Joyeux Noel!

  15. eli

    The presentation on this is fantastic, love the simplicity and elegance of it.

    I have a knife tip, excuse the pun, on how to cut a lot of small tomatoes or grapes at once. With a fabulously sharp knife and firm tomatoes you can place your open palm flat on top of a dozen of them, then cut through them all in one go sideways without your hand ever being in the way, saves a ton of time.

  16. Wicked Good Dinner

    Isn’t Florida wonderful!? We, too harvested a handful of cherry tomatoes over the holiday. Ours were by accident. A few tomatoes that had fallen off the vine over the summer sprouted in the fall and are thriving without much attention.

    I’m excited for you and your TV appearances – I know how much work goes into a segment…no matter how big or small, the workload seems to be the same. I’m sure you were wonderful (and shame on the producer for not letting you know about the stripes).

    Happy New Year πŸ™‚


  17. Shella

    Jaden, firstly Merry Christmas to you & your lovely boys & of course your husband & all else in your family.

    Two tomatoes, or even one teeny-weenie tomato or anything else – the fruits of what you’ve nurtured is a joy to behold. The tomatoes are truly a harvest – n they look lovely on the plate – simply elegant!!

    I really wish your TV show was on air in India -it would have been great to know someone on Television!!!

    God bless

  18. tigerfish

    Oh, those few tomatoes are enough for me provided I don’t have to share πŸ˜›
    Fresh good quality ingredients…as good as it gets!

    Merry Christmas, and Happy 2008!

  19. Deborah Dowd

    In December, anything that you grow and can eat is called a harvest, and those little yellow cherry tmatoes are so sweet, I am jealous!! A very Merry Christmas and a new year blessed with love, laughter and health!

  20. Duke DeLand

    A few comments as I also grow the Fall/Winter tomatoes…..In Tampa, Florida.

    I have four bushes this year; 2 Better Bush, 1 Roma and 1 cherry….and I also threw in an eggplant.

    I planted 2nd week of September…perhaps a couple of weeks early. However, the fruit is flowing in and I am giving away cherry and roma tomatoes.

    I found in the poor soil of Tampa that I got much better results using large plastic planters (20-30 inches across) and filling them with Home Depot’s Garden Soil. I then fertilize every three-four weeks as well. They grow with abandon.

    For those unfamiliar with home-grown, the skins are a lot tougher, but that is well offset by a burst of flavor no store-bought fruit will match.

    Duke DeLand

  21. argus lou

    ‘A’ is often in a smart shirt, isn’t he?
    And your younger ‘un is the snappy, trendy dresser, huh?
    πŸ˜‰ Happy new year, Mrs Steamy!
    P.S. Make something that sizzles like hell for your next show.

  22. Lynn

    What a wonderful Christmas gift – fresh tomatoes. They look to-drool-for! Wish I could see your TV moments. Curse Microsoft Media Player!

    I hope you and the family had a wonderful Christmas!

  23. Carol

    I’d really like to know how you grew tomatoes in Florida. When we lived in California my husband grew the most amazing tomatoes, I mean prize winning type tomatoes, the envy of the neighborhood tomatoes. We tried here, we built a raised bed, planeted, watered, tended bought all sorts of things for the tomoatoe plants, spent about $400.00 and had ONE tomatie. It is the most expensive tomatoe in history! What oh what did we do wrong?

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