It was pouring at the market this morning! And it’s supposed to be crappy all weekend– a good weekend to spend in the kitchen.
corncob wine (no, really)
Marcella’s tomato sauce (to freeze)
oven-dried tomatoes (with the Juliets)
basil preserved in salt
and I’ll probably end up canning some of those Romas, because that’s a hell of a lot of tomatoes for just sauce.
And then there’s this:
One goes in gin and the other gets bourbon.
We’re having 15 people over for dinner on Tuesday night. Obviously I’m planning on feeding them herbs and tomatoes. I think I need more tomatoes. . .
Also, you should not make pinky swears and home improvements at the same time. The bathroom’s still not quite done, but it’s fully functional and a hell of a lot prettier.
In the past ten days I’ve purchased nearly twenty pounds of tomatoes, and I have every intention of continuing the insanity right up until the farmers run out of tomatoes to sell me. You see, we had a long, cold winter, and I’m not just saying that because any winter would have seemed long and cold to a girl who’d recently moved from southeastern Virginia to northern Michigan — I’m saying that because it was still snowing in May.
So it seemed like those luscious orbs of sweet, juicy, vine-ripened summer freshness would never arrive to replace the barely-worth-it hydroponic greenhouse tomatoes that had characterized June and July. And then suddenly, there they were — real tomatoes, spilling out of baskets onto tables throughout the farmers market.
I’m not taking them for granted.
I’m making sauce. Lots and lots and lots of sauce. Which is time consuming, but not at all difficult.
I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who can wander through the grocery or farmers market and spontaneously plan a meal based on what looks good. But I’m not. I’m more the kind of person who, if she doesn’t have a carefully crafted list in hand, will come home with a random assortment of lovely-looking stuff, none of which has any business being on the same plate.
So while ordinarily I try to have at least a general idea of what I might like to make before coming into close contact with vegetables, it doesn’t always work out that way. Like on my last trip to the farmers market, for example.
I was accompanied by my mom, who doesn’t particularly enjoy cooking or even eating, but who really likes buying things. She’s also the kind of person who keeps four bottles of ketchup on hand. Just in case.
So it should really come as no surprise to anyone that our unsupervised visit to the farmers market yielded thirteen ears of corn, a pound of eggplant, two pints of cherry tomatoes, a pound of zucchini, two pounds of squash, five large onions, several peppers, and two pounds of potatoes. Oh, and no plan.
Let’s say, hypothetically, that nearly every stand at your local farmers market is teeming with perfectly formed, bright green little zucchini — any and all of which could be yours for a mere $1 a pound. How much do you buy?
Right. A lot more than what’s pictured above. Because it seems silly to hand your friendly neighborhood farmer just one measly dollar and be on your way. I mean, this is food we’re talking about.
My point is that we’ve been eating a lot of zucchini lately. But when Chris wandered into the kitchen yesterday and groaned, “You put zucchini in cookies?” (I did. I don’t recommend it.), I thought it might be time for a frozen pizza.
Not for me, of course. I could eat zucchini every day from now until the blizzards come. Plus I had a pint of four-day-old cherry tomatoes languishing on the counter and quite a bit of shredded zucchini left over from the aforementioned cookie debacle.