You’re right – there wasn’t one. I had typed in this long garden update post, with pictures from the garden, a couple of basic recipes – and at the very end, suddenly I couldn’t upload the picture of the eggplant in the garden…and I tried again and again…and then finally figured FINE, I’ll just save what I’ve got as a draft and try again later. Nope. Couldn’t do that either. (Of course now that I think about it, I could have saved the whole thing as a word document…but it didn’t occur to me yesterday.) So anyway – yesterday’s post? Gone.
So here’s the shortened version:
Our gardens are a tangle of greens – leaves and vines and tendrils and thorns. It always looks crazy and unkempt at this point – but it’s the best time as well, because everything is producing.
We’ve got cucumbers and zucchini aplenty – good thing the kids like them. And we’ve got tomatoes ripening – actually, Bill found some red ones yesterday – they’re small, a bit bigger than cherry tomatoes – I can’t think of the name at the moment (I’m hurrying because I have to leave for work soon) but anyway – two ripe little tomatoes yesterday afternoon. I cut one into two for the kids to share, and cut the other for Bill and I. There is nothing better – NOTHING better – than a warm tomato, just picked. Unless it is a tomato sandwich made from a warm, freshly picked tomato – on white bread with mayo, salt and pepper. Don’t go gussying it up with other stuff – no, if you’re going to have a tomato sandwich, then be pure about it.
Anyway. We’ve also got tons of basil, which I will cut back soon and run through the food processer with some olive oil and pack in small containers to freeze. I also do something like that with the tomatoes – I’ve probably mentioned it before…you slice the tomatoes in half, or smaller if you’ve got different sized tomatoes working together. You put everything – cut sides up – in a baking pan and pour a generous amount of olive oil over all them. I sprinkle some salt and pepper on too. You can sprinkle herbs on too, but I don’t because I like to be able to do that later, depending on what I’m making. But I jump ahead. You put the pan of tomatoes (or, if it’s August and you’re drowning in tomatoes, many pans) in an oven set around 300-325 and bake for at least an hour. You’re looking for the tomatoes to give up a lot of water and to shrivel and shrink in the process. They will cook gently in the warm oil, and at the end they will be sweet and heavenly. It’s up to you how long you cook them. You don’t want them to burn, of course, but a little brown or black is okay.
After you’ve taken them out, let them cool and then scrape the whole mixture into a container, cover, and stick them in the freezer. You can use them later for sauces, pasta dishes, pizza – whatever and however. The point is – it’s the best thing in the world to have a taste of summer produce in the middle of January.
Gotta go – talk to you later!