Let me tell you a story

This story begins, as all good stories do, with a pie.  A delicious, tender, flavorful, savory tomato pie.  I know what you’re thinking.  Tomato pie?  Those are not words one usually sees together, but oh my… it is out of this world fantastic!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I had been staying in various parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio for about 6 days.  It was Monday, the last day of my trip and my last meal before heading home.

Thelma, my sweet friend and host, said she knew the perfect place to get lunch.  The Tomato Pie Cafe.

And what does one get at the Tomato Pie Cafe?  Well tomato pie of course.

My excellent company :)

The adorable waitress in the fedora hat took our orders.  “Two tomato pies please.”  She smiled knowingly.

A few minutes later this glorious plate was set in front of me.  I took the first bite, closed my eyes and sighed. 

Please forgive the picture of the half eaten pie.  I was already well into eating it when I realized I really needed to document this slice of heaven.  If Thelma noticed that I was making little happy moans as I ate, she was too polite to say anything ;)   I don’t want to embarrass myself by telling you all how fast I devoured that slice… we’ll just say it didn’t really have a chance to cool off.

Here’s the trouble.  I don’t think I can be happy with just the memory of that amazing pie.  I want to be able to eat it over and over, but I can’t be flying to Pennsylvania every time I’m hankering for a slice of tomato pie.  I have to learn how to make it.  Thelma says that the recipe is a closely guarded secret and that the waitresses cannot be bribed.  So the quest is on!  The perfect tomato pie will be mine if it’s the last thing I do.  Thelma and I are putting our heads together to come up with the recipe and all the proper techniques.  I will keep you all up to date on our progress (for I am sure you are dying to know).

Now, you may ask “What on earth was a California girl doing in Pennsylvania, on a Monday afternoon, eating tomato pie with two lovely girls?”.  Well that’s another good story that begins like this…

Once upon a time, a slightly nervous woman boarded a plane, flew hundreds of miles to meet a bunch of strangers she met on the internet.  But the rest of that story will have to wait for another night when I am feeling a little less jet-lagged, and have had a chance to sort out the happy blur of memories that are floating around in my brain.

Until then…

39 thoughts on “Let me tell you a story

  1. H0LDfast

    i realize its ridiculous that i haven’t called you yet to just ask you how it was …..
    but i’m still curious for a post about it!
    welcome home xoxo

  2. ABAHM

    Well, I was told that was always the way to end a story and keep them coming back for more…a cliff hanger!  Alright, after some sleep I hope you will tell the rest of the bedtime story
    Tomato pie sounds and looks yummy.  Kind of pizza like but with a crumbly pie crust?

  3. purpleamethyst76

    Yum, that pie must have been delicious!  I hope you share the recipe when you find it! 

    Can’t wait to hear about your adventures with the interenet friends!  I’m very curious about it all! 

  4. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    aw!! so fun to see pictures from there. i still cannot believe i’ve never been there, but now that i think about it, Tim doesn’t like tomatoes, so…hmmm. that would make it less appealing for date night, eh?
    so happy to have met you and to have had you here…you and your friendship are a gift i’m glad i’ve been given!

  5. fruitloops115

    uh… so i didn’t hear any moans….prly because they were drowned out by the ones coming from me  It’s kinda funny how one forgets how good something is  until they have it again, and then it’s like “this is just SO delightful”. It’s kinda crazy that it can be THAT good every time.  I’m excited to have someone join my in my quest for the perfect recipe, in my nearly abandoned quest Oh and I love the little sentance about the waitress “smiling knowingly”.
     I really kinda like this intro to your weekend away, makes me feel a little special that our cafe stop got ‘featured’ first  Oh yeah, i was gonna ask you what the verdict was on the whoopie pie…yay or nay?  Now that I do have the best recipe of all times for those, so if you ever wanna make ‘em for your kiddos, I can help you out.

    man. i really miss you April. Hearing you write, i can just hear your voice talking. I think of you often, wondering how your week is going. You mentioned jet lag. Ugh. Sorry that you have to deal w/ that (but kinda glad it didn’t happen on this end of things, that would have been a bummer)

    @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown -  Rachel, I can’t believe we were so rude as to not invite  you along on Monday. It was definatley NOT an exclusive event. Where was our heads?? Oh yeah, in the state of cotton fuzz. This would have been a perfect time for you to try the cafe too. Daryl would not dig the place either, so I jump for a chance to go there otherwise. I’m thinking if we ever have a FFE mini-reunion, like we have had in the past, we should go there…
    @fwren - yes, there are a few recipes out there in cyberspace, but none of them are quite like the tomato pie cafe’s, and that is the one we want to mimic. I have made several already in hopes of nailing a copycat, but have yet to succeed….

  6. aSeriesofFortunateEvents

    Now I sort of wish I had some tomato pie. After you find this recipe, I want in on it. I had some tomato pie that my mother-in-law made, but I don’t think it’s the same, from your picture.

    It was soooo lovely to meet you and I’m glad that neither of us was killed by crazy internet people. :D

  7. richlyblest

    Tomato pie? Hmm, as much as I love tomatoes, I am not sure about that one. I hope you can find a recipe that satisfies your longings!     So glad to have met you!

  8. fruitloops115

    @writersblock02 - heyhey. let’s meet for lunch w/ Rachel someday, since she’s never been either. That was my brilliant thot of the day. Actually if you want to go there in secret, I won’t be offended. It is in Lititz, across from the park. 

  9. mytoesareblue

    love love love that you went to FFE. sooo awesome. and i also love that you got to meet and be with all those lovely ladies and have some special time with Thelma. from her post it sounded like you ladies had a fabulous time together. and that pie does sound glorious…and a waitress in a fedora sounds fabulous! i shall have to look this place up when i’m in Pennsylvania…love it last time i was there, will have to return (especially now that i know a person or two there!) so excited to hear your take on the journey.

  10. seekinHISwisdom

    I like your story and am excited to hear more! was so glad to meet you (you could have entertained me all day!) and it sounds like Thelma is a A+ hostess.

    Tomato pie actually sounds real yummy!!

  11. lifeisadance

    This is SO cute. :) And that cafe is so close to where my parents live, I can’t believe I’ve never been there! Your description makes my mouth water!!

    And I can’t wait to hear the next post… :) It was just so so good to meet you, and have that time to hang out with you during the shopping trip. SO fun! And I keep thinking about you in the cute outfit and how you just rocked it. The aviators and skinny jeans especially. :)

  12. appalolly

    I cannot help myself…tomato pie does not sound good to me.  But…I totally believe you and Thelma that it was awesome and now I kinda wanna be able to try it for myself!!  Also, can’t wait for part #2 of this post!   And yeah, reading your blog has totally taken on a 3-D kind of dimension since I met you! And I love that!!

  13. mlt10202002

    what is it like? a quiche? i bet i would love it. but i would DEFINITELY love to go to a cafe with you and thelma. no matter what i ate, that would be fun!

  14. bamsniko22407

    What a lovely story!  Good luck on your quest for the recipe!

    This makes me think of a divine dessert I enjoy each time we visit the island, Chocolate Stuff.  It’s AMAZING!  The restaurant won’t disclose the actual recipe but there are several imitations floating about, but none that we’ve attempted to make at home match the true dessert at the store.  However, by some amazingly happy coincidence, the restaurant now offers shipping for it, so, if push comes to shove and I just must have some of that yummylish chocolate, I suppose I could order it… but it’s steeply priced for a large amount.  I suppose I’ll just have to throw a party or something to justify it!

    http://barbarajeans.com/menu.html  – “Chocolate “Stuff” •

    It was called “Chocolate Cobbler” but we were told by lots
    of you that name didn’t fit. We know it’s better than any brownie.
    It’s soft, smooth and very rich, and comes topped with homemade whipped

  15. aMeagerMind

    Wow, that looks wonderful. Reminds me of the time I ate tortilla soup for the first time in Texas, and even though I’m in New York, I still have urges to go back just to have it again!

    Tomato pie. I love the way it sounds so odd. Hopefully, when I get a hold of the recipe and make it, it’ll be more tasty than odd. :D

  16. manuelmusings

    I am very interested in hearing about how you managed to schedule a six day trip for just yourself.  Surely the planning that went into such an event is worthy of a post in itself. 

    Not too sure about the idea of tomato pie…

  17. redladybug18

    It looks so yummy!  I noticed you’d been posting tomato pies on pinterest and I’d never heard of such a thing but they look really yummy!  I don’t know if you’ve tried this but when I’m looking for a specific kind of recipe, I love allrecipies,com and it always works wonders for me.

  18. Richgem

    Hurry UP, April! I’m dying to hear your take on the visit with all the girlies. ( 8   Tomato pie? ew. I think. Well, maybe I’d like it.

  19. lin789

    i’m with lisa. i would love to go to a cafe with you and thelma no matter what i ate! and you totally sold me on the pie. and i really think the tomato cafe should just cave and hand over the recipe. look at all the extra business you generated for them. LOVED meeting you. i just raved about you tonight to some of my friends that were asking about ffe.

  20. smilesbymiles

    Oh, my word.  Tomato pie sounds absolutely amazing.  Especially since the picture looks like it includes basil.  And in my not so humble opinion, you just can’t go wrong when combining basil and tomato!

  21. down_onthefarm

    i just want to sit quietly and hear the rest of this! and now! you are a great storyteller. :)   i’ve been thinking alot about my own experiences with you and others…

    …and all of the friends that had met first as strangers on the internet realized that the happily-ever-after part was the fact that becoming friends was only the beginning of something very special. a something that was better and deeper than just happy. and with a ripple effect that would span a lifetime. and touch eternity because “once upon a times” can be like that…

    i love this sweet post! and you, my friend. and all that we have to look forward to.

  22. down_onthefarm

    okay. so after i wrote ^^^ i was feeling ridiculous that i would blurt ahead in someone else’s story. especially when i said something about sitting quietly. duh cindy. thanks for graciousness april even with my big foot up at my mouth again. you are dear.

  23. inanorchard

    @down_onthefarm - NO!! I didn’t think of it that way at.all.  I loved your ending and thought that it was so endearing of you to write that.  I mostly meant that I am having a hard time sorting out all my thoughts and feelings about my trip, and I almost wish someone else could write “the next chapter” for me.  It impacted me so profoundly that I hardly know were to end and begin.  But I love your ending… truly 

    You forget, a friend understands a friend’s heart even when the words don’t come out right (although yours certainly did come out right!).

  24. down_onthefarm

    i really believed that you heard me. i did. that’s who i know you to be, the hearing my heart kind of friend. :) irl too! *i likelovelove saying irl*   and i know what you mean too about sorting out all the thoughts and feelings…i’m a bit overwhelmed with my own.

  25. The_Carpers

             this whole post just seems so romantic… I don’t really know why. 

    My MIL makes this devine Tomatoe pie and it is actually a quiche’. Pennsylvanians are so famous for making things into pies that shouldn’t be and then they actually taste good. Once you have a recipe nailed down you will have to post for the whole world to try!

  26. zanyzeal

    The first thing I thought of was Fried Green Tomatoes and the movie.  I am anxiously awaiting the recipe you gals come up with.  I am enjoying reading the tales of the FFE.    I’m hoping next year I will get to join in on the fun.  It was just to soon to leave my precious boy this year with the timing of it all. 

  27. grace_to_be

    this made me smile! i’m not sure i’d like tomato pie, but that cafe looks cozy and inviting and i would have loved to have been sitting right there with you two.. or three.. not wait, actually FOUR!! ;)

    it was fun to finally meet you and to see what i already knew – you’re a gem! and i’m so glad to have you part of my life.

  28. singingrachel

    boy,you really did make me want to try this too and i think my husband would like it too.

    i loved meeting you irl April. i only wish i could’ve had more time to hang out.  i look forward to more good times together though.

    “and now, for the rest of the story”……. well, i’ll be looking forward to it.

  29. thegrabertribe

    It was quite delightful to read this post & to be able to “hear” your voice!  You were such a sweet surprise for me & I’m soooo glad to have met you.   I will certainly look forward to whatever the rest of your story has to say!!  Tomato pie…haven’t tried it, but am hoping you’ll keep us posted on the recipe concoction.  Unless, of course, you want to make millions on it.


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