Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Working Through the Abundance

Abundance with a capital A! I know my blog is heavy with tomatoes and preserving these days, but the activities I write about here reflect the seasons, and this is what we're doing this time of year. In the winter, it is baking and knitting and sewing (and homework, like as not), but now, at the end of summer, we are drowning in tomatoes and filling up the freezer and stocking the shelves for winter, so that is what happens here on the blog. It's glorious, all this red in our kitchen:

On Monday night Matt cooked up a huge batch of stovetop passata for freezing. He likes the taste of that better than the oven-roasted version, so we do some of both, and label them separately. Man, oh man, is it good. These big pink Oxhearts are so great for sauce, the perfect texture and deep flavor.

We were laughing last night, how we haven't eaten at this table in months. This is our winter breakfast spot, but in the summer there are so many baskets and bowls of good things and we just don't quite have the counter space to accommodate it all, so it goes here.

Matt's been working full days these last couple of weeks, helping with my cousin's house renovation, so I'm mainly on garden and kitchen duty since I only work part-time and have 3-day weekends. We'll swap back over to Matt having most of the cooking and cleaning duties when I start school in three weeks and take on a bigger courseload than I've attempted yet...can't I just please have one more month of vacation? :) We'll have even more juggling to do if/when Matt lands a regular full-time job. It will be a major blessing, but also will change our routines a lot.

We had a delicious summer meal last night, Matt cooked pork chops with mushrooms and sweet pepper, and I made steamed green beans with a soy-sesame dressing, and bioled potatoes dressed with lemon and chives.

It felt so good to cook a full meal together. We've been so busy/exhausted that we haven't managed this much recently.

Even with Matt's huge batch of sauce, there were lots of leftover tomatoes. So this afternoon I made a big salsa, and put a pan of plain tomatoes and olive oil in the oven to cook up. I didn't add any herbs or garlic this time, so we'll have some plain stewed tomatoes for adding to soups and chili. I've also got half a dozen eggs hard boiling, to take care of some of that particular abundance.

I also just took a punnet of cherry tomatoes over to the neighbors; their 3-year-old daughter loves them, so that's a handy way to get rid of extras! I'm heading out of town again this weekend, so hopefully all of this work will lighten the load for Matt while I'm away.

Last on the list is the apples! We're both excited to be picking apples from our trees! We somehow missed the prime harvest last year, and right now they are mostly just ripe! The trees did get apple scab, but the majority of the apples came through just fine, not the prettiest in the world but damn tasty.

I was planning to make burritos for dinner tonight, but I think we'll go more in the smorgasbord direction. We have such a variety of things that are calling out to be eating. So I think we'll have chips and salsa and the leftover pinto beans that are in the fridge, with sliced apples and some blue cheese. I'm going to try one other thing, a recipe that our roommate passed on to me: fresh sliced tomato dressed in browned butter with salt. It sounds amazing, and I have a massive Cherokee Purple that demands to be eaten fresh- they're far too good to cook.

Now, when will find time to put in the fall crops? This summer has been so insanely jam-packed, luckily all with fun things, but I'm starting to look forward to school, if only because it means I have to stay in town for more than a week at a time!

How are things in your garden?

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