Thursday, September 17, 2009

Salsa Fresca

Did I mention I have a shit ton of tomatoes?

I did right. I have so many of them that they are falling off the vines to the ground and I'm just leaving them there. This is so sad. CB has been averaging about a tomato a day, either in his sandwich or in a salad at night. Don't even get me started on the cucumbers. I've got ones in the house that are as long as my arm, and I saw one this morning laying on the ground that was literally as thick as my calf.

So, I took Hallie's advice on peeling tomatoes [Pick tomatoes that are fully colored and tender (but not mushy or soft) and clean them well. Dip 2 to 3 tomatoes at a time into boiling water, removing after 30 seconds with a slotted spoon. Slide off the skins and remove the core.] I did this to about six of them, peeled them, seeded them and then chopped them fine. I combined this with chopped fresh cilantro, chopped sweet onion, lime juice, lime zest, and a little salt and pepper. It was delicious. We ate it with big crunchy corn chips.

Rating = Good

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Heirloom Caprese Salad - Home Grown

Sitting in traffic this afternoon while running some errands on my lunch hour. I saw a man throw a cigarette but out his window. If you have read this blog for any amount of time you probably know that I find littering one of the most deplorable acts. It's lazy, its uncalled for and it exemplifies just a basic self absorbtion and disregard for the earth and other people who have to share her with your sorry ass.

I was transfixed on this person, and then, with the index finger of the same hand that he nonchallantaly threw the cigarette out the window with, he shoved his index finger so far up his left nostril that his face became all distorted, his right eye squinting shut under the pressure of the finger in his sinus cavity. A few seconds later, satisfied with his archeological dig, he pulled his finger out - looked at it, rolled his finding around between his thumb and index finger, and then threw that out the window too. He repeated this two more times, each time as vigorous as the one before.

This is what I hate about driving to work. If I were on the train, that man would have been treated to an earful of littering and hygeine lessons, but, trapped in my car, he was oblivious to my rage and disgust, I had no closure, I was mute. I now understand road rage.

So - I picked 18 tomatoes yesterday. half heirloom, half beefsteak. Chris assures me they are great. I don't eat raw tomatoes. I'll eat the shit out of sundried, stewed, roasted, blistered, but not raw. Here's what I made with just one of the heirlooms and one beefsteak. Also, that pretty basil, that's from my garden too.

Heirloom Caprese Salad

Basil/Buffalo Mozzarella/Tomato/olive oil/salt/pepper.

I think you can figure it out.

Rating = (CB says) Damn Good

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Not sure where the time is going. I've got recipes and pictures, but no time to post.
I'm working on it. Promise.

Life - So Damn Busy

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Jellin' and Relishin' - My first Canning Experience


We be jammin' or jellin' or relishin', whatever you want to call it, my inaugural foray into canning was a huge success; thanks in large part to my father, who brought the biggest ass kettle I have ever seen in my life and his knowledge of canning. He showed me step by step how to sterilize the bottles, tops, tongs, funnel, etc. He watched over everything with the careful eye of the engineer he is. He told me exactly how much jelly and relish to put into each jar, how to put the full jars in the boiling water, how to cool them, and then how to test them to make sure they were sealed.

I am so glad to have this garden. All the mornings of going out to the backyard, shaking my first at the plants begging them to "give me something" have paid off. I'm all friggin' Martha Stewart and shit with my fruitful vines and fruit heavy tomato plants. I love love love the idea that in the grips of the cold, long New England winter I will be able to go down into the cellar and pull out a jar of something that I grew when the summer sun was hot and the days were long. I'll be able to open a jar and remember the heat and the smell of the summer, this more than anything brings a smile to my face, and you can bet your ass I'll say the following phrase every time I open a new jar, "I Made This Shit!"

So what did I make you ask. I took all the ready jalapenos from my garden and combined them with sweet dried apricots and and made a beautiful red/orange hued apricot jalapeno jelly, a jelly that upon first taste my dad exclaimed "that's damn good" - ahh the true test of a dish's merit in my kitchen, the official Damn Good rating.

The second thing we made used up about 6 of my zucchinis - we turned the zucchinis into a wonderfully sweet zucchini relish that I first had at the aforementioned "Maine Cookout". It is the most amazingly sweet and savory relish and we have already eaten a whole jar of it in the week since I made it. I've actually eaten it like peanut butter, just sticking my spoon in the jar and eating it.

Bottom line, I cannot wait to try new canning recipes. I have a date with my dad to make more jelly and pickles next month.

I'll post the recipes for these two canning items in separate posts with their own titles so that people searching for recipes can easily find them.

Recipes coming soon.

Dad showing me how to funnel the jelly into the jar.

This is what the jelly looked like in the pot as we were putting it into the jars.

Rating - Damn Good Time