Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Cup Runneth Over - Tomatoes and Other Stuff

I woke up this morning and couldn’t even make it through the second half of that incredible designer granola I’ve been touting.

My stomach was so stuffed from yesterday - when I devoured homegrown tomatoes, stuffed with fresh  tuna salad, and accompanied by a warm baguette of French bread. I had to eat it all when it was still warm and fresh, right?  

Then a little later that day there was the caprese salad with, again, fresh homegrown tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic. This was, of course, the first course to a very delicious brined rosemary smoked chicken and then followed by blackberry pie ala mode.  I think the operative word to use here is “epic”! And it was. 

You may have notice a theme.  Fresh, fresh, and fresh – without a doubt September is the month when we are so overwhelmed with homegrown produce that we live in guilt ridden fear of watching it rot, knowing that we will never, never ever again, until next summer, eat homegrown tomatoes that taste this good or enjoy a warm fresh blackberry pie topped liberally with vanilla ice cream.  Which is true.

But there are other things to do with this stuff besides coming up with a new way to eat it now.  Especially the tomatoes.  They can be canned whole, made into sauce, paste, ketchup, conserve, salsa, pickled, dried, or frozen.  Did I overlook anything here? 

Having received a bounty of assorted tomatoes this week, I thought the easiest way to deal with my windfall was to blanch them, remove the skins, then dice and stuff them into plastic quart bags before popping them into the freezer.  

All of this, of course, took up much more time than I had thought when I started and requires many more bowls, pots, pans, and counter space.  Nevertheless - it’s all worth it – I put in a good days work, pacified my guilt and my glutinous tendencies, didn’t let them rot, and I have a freezer full of fresh tomatoes to use this Winter.
I still have some Roma's that I'll slice and dry in the oven, drizzled with garlic, olive oil and balsamic.  These guys are perfectly wonderful inside a panini or plan old grilled cheese sandwich, or incorporated in a salad, pasta and the list goes on and on.

But for tonight - it's pretty hot outside - the perfect evening for a salad with fresh flavorful tomatoes, a cool cucumber, colorful pungent red onion, kalamata olives and a little goat cheese.  Better enjoy them while their here!

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