Thursday, September 15, 2011

Harvest Home

I'm in the middle of a bunch of books but right now can't report on anything recently read because I haven't finished anything since Bill Bryson's wonderful At Home.

So, here's what else I've been up to.

Last Sunday we made Tomato Glut, my favorite basic tomato sauce recipe, which I got years ago from Joan Gussow Dye's wonderful book, This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader.

Here's the recipe:

Preheat oven to 400 F
Put into a large roasting pan:
6 pounds tomatoes (plum are best), cored and quartered
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped celery (optional)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
9 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tablespoons each fresh thyme, oregano, basil, parley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or less)
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Roast for 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Process briefly to leave slightly chunky, and freeze in 1-cup portions. Makes 2 quarts (4 pounds).

Sadly, I had to buy some tomatoes as half of those we planted turned out to be cherry golds instead of romas. I complained to the manager of the plant store and she gave me a gift card to cover the cost of the mismarked plants. That was nice, but I still have to buy tomatoes to make my sauce, and I haven't had to actually buy a tomato for years!

I also harvested a bunch of anaheim and ancho peppers, and made green chili, which we've been eating all week. And the zucchini for zucchini bread, marinated zucchini, and fried zucchini is still plentiful. My favorite garden treat these days is baby beets, boiled until tender, peeled, sliced, and marinated in vinegar. Yum!

I also started knitting again. Hats for the Homeless--my first one didn't come out all that great because when I transitioned from a circular needle to double-pointed needles I used needles that were too big (too lazy to hunt for the right sized needles proved my undoing) and so the hat looks a bit funky. It was good practice, though, as I haven't knitted in ~30 years, and didn't do much before that. My second hat is looking good and I've learned my lesson.

I'm interested in knitting as a spiritual practice and am thinking about reading Zen and the Art of Knitting. Anybody read this yet?

1 comment:

  1. Knitting (and sewing for that matter) are definitely spiritual - I find both so calming and meditative. Though I can't knit to save my life, even though I do enjoy knitting I just can't keep the tension even, and have gotten partway through two jumpers in the past, never to finish either. So I stick to hand-sewing, which I always think of as an autumn activity. I've not heard of Zen and the Art of Knitting before, but it sounds apt.