Tuesday, August 14, 2007

elbow deep in tomatoes-post finished if you looked at it earlier

At the beginning of gardening season the following conversation was heard by our magnolia bush:

HP: Ya know I was thinking of signing up for the garden tour.
Me: I love our garden & I love the tour, but we really can't afford to spruce up the yard for people to come through.
HP: We can do it on the cheap, I'll plant that herb & salsa garden I promised you for your birthday last year.
Me: The birthday that you didn't even get me a card for? NOW you want to start on that? We are even more broke now than we were then and that was your excuse for not getting me anything.
HP: Umm, yeah, sorry about that. But think how much we'll save if we only spend a few dollars now on herbs instead of $2 a pop when you buy them for recipes. I'll even start with the seeds you bought for the garden last year.
Me: Ok, we'll start the herb garden, if we can do it cheap. But I don't think we can afford to do all the fluffing for the garden tour.
HP: uh huh. I hope I can grow tomatoes, I've never had any luck with them before.
Me: Umm, isn't it hard to have a salsa garden without tomatoes?
HP: What are you making for dinner? I'm hungry
So after smuggling free bricks out of York in the trunk of a convertible, a few at a time (funny how he could do it when he wanted to). HP started planning out the herb garden. It began a little like this:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Now, it is looking much more like this:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us So, where he had failed in the past, he is more than making up for now. We have tomatoes, and tomatoes and tomatoes. And we are eating them. I have made something resembling this (and mostly using this recipe)
but it didn't really look that pretty. It sure tastes good though!

In a fit of too many tomato paranoia, my husband asked me to so something with the green tomatoes. So I found a soup recipe, and changed it to include fresh herbs, vegetable broth* and creamy goat cheese. The original said it was good hot or cold, but mine was kind of unexciting warm, yet rich and velvety cold, it was smooth & refreshing, and much better cold! HP thought it would be extra-tasty with a red pepper & chipotle mousse I once made, (ok it was supposed to be just red-pepper, but I didn't have enough and thought a little zip would enhance. I was right!) but not having enough time to make said mousse before packing the soup in his lunch box I did a quick chipotle crema that added just enough heat to contrast the cool. His suggestion really made that soup a stand-out!

We also had plenty of ripe tomatoes this week so I made some of my semi-famous gazpacho. It features both fresh and roasted tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions along with fresh herbs and cucumbers and what ever else I managed to put in there.

Well along comes Sunday dinner and I was tired.
I spent the majority of my day volunteering here. Which included some demos on the wheel, some cleaning up and a kiln unloading & sale of works from the gas kiln reduction firing (as opposed to the "neutral" electric kiln we normally use. I had only a few pieces in the kiln, but I donated one to the ceramic shop (proceeds of the sale were benefiting the shop) gave a plate and bowl as a very late birthday present to my husband, gave another bowl to a friend I don't see often enough and kept a bowl for myself. I am very proud to say that the bowl I donated sold within hours of being put up for sale. WooHoo, my first sale. Even though I didn't get any of the $13.50 selling price, I was thrilled and hopefully we are on our way to more exciting toys for the ceramic shop!

Anyway, back to Sunday dinner that I was too tired to cook. (But if I don't, who will?) So I pulled out a chicken, smothered it in garlic and a little rosemary and some lemon. Shoved the old beer can up it's end and put it on the grill. That is pretty easy, but HP does not live on chicken alone. So I had to have something to go with it.
Out came the green tomato soup. Out came the chipotle crema. Out came the gazpacho. Put them all together and it looks like this: Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

And boy-howdy was it tasty!

Although, it probably would have tasted better in this bowl...

4 garnishes:

Sarah Louise August 14, 2007 at 7:31 PM  

YUM YUM YUM. I think next year I will try tomatoes again.

KitchenKiki August 14, 2007 at 9:15 PM  

No, it's "Tasty, Tasty, Tasty" (please note the "Tasty is the new Yum" label)

Do you have space for tomatoes in the garret? I was surprised at how much space they really need!

Anonymous,  August 16, 2007 at 8:10 PM  

The easiest way to get rid of the tomatoes is to make sauce. I blanche them, peel and put 'em in the crock pot. Add onion, capers, peppers (hot and/or sweet) spices, herbs...whatever your fancy.

Here's the tricky part. Go to bed and keep the crockpot lid ajar. Wake up and smell the sauce. Freeze it in bags or container. In November/December...you'll have a wonderful taste of summer. Holly

KitchenKiki August 20, 2007 at 11:15 AM  

Thanks Holly-
I never think to use the crock pot for sauces, etc. I'm planning to roast a bunch of them and make enchilada sauce.
I have some peppers need to be consumed also.

  © Blogger template Blogger Theme II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP