Category Archives: Food

Roasting Roma’s

Roma's and Roasted GarlicI planted 80 Roma tomatoes in early spring and have been harvesting produce for about a month now.

Today I roasted about 300 tomatoes and I was finally completely satisfied with my recipe.

Here is how I prepared them.

Slice Roma’s in half, lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil, added salt, pepper, a hand full of garlic ( I prefer fresh but used loads of minced and it was excellent) oregano and finely chopped basil.

Mix well so all tomatoes are well coated.

Place face down on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees until skin start to pucker. Different baking surfaces will cause  the length of time vary.

Remove from oven and scoop into a blender or food processor, buzz for about 10 seconds.

Pour into a food mill or a potato ricer.

Potato Ricer

Process all tomatoes, add fresh basil to taste, simmer sauce to desired consistency and enjoy!

Perfect

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Random Thoughts

Random thought 1)

I’m recovering today, I thought I looked like shit but my color is coming back so I’m upgraded to looking like crap:)

Random thought 2)

God made boobs so fast food wouldn’t land on our lap while we’re driving…good thing I was wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt the mayonnaise nearly landed on the tongue…I hope it comes out, I love that t-shirt.

Random thought 3)

All fiction writing days are the best days!

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With or Without the Fireman’s Pole

I finished planting the garden today. The wind was so bad that it scattered tree debris all over the deck, the yard, the garden..everything. Nonetheless the plants needed to be planted so I forged ahead. Gnats were swarming my head and biting my neck and I was miserable. By the time I finished I had sand and tree debris in my hair, which was sticky because I used all natural bug repellent. It not only worked to repel bugs but I’m sure I was repellent in general. I don’t recall the last time I felt that disgusting. I’m not outdoorsy, I never do things like go camping, back to nature to me is a glass of ice tea on my back patio with a book.

Gardening is an act of love for me  because I have to work against my own inclination to be clean and comfortable. I prefer the grocery store or to have UPS deliver cases of organic Amish Paste Tomatoes from someone else’s garden but I value the end result and appreciated having produce that lasted all winter, produce I grew,  so I muck through the parts I don’t like so well.

When I came into the house I showered, dried my hair and slipped into cool comfortable sleep wear. Despite the late hour we had yet to have dinner but throwing burgers on the grill is easy and so is clean up. I considered getting dressed to use the grill but felt so blissfully clean and comfortable that I elected to cook in what I had on. The only household in the neighborhood who has or uses their outdoor living space is me, it was already getting dark and the neighbors had been indoors or gone all day. I was sure I could slip onto the deck unnoticed  because the grill is right outside the door of the mud room.

I flipped the light to the mud room on and pulled open the door only to discover that the man in the house behind me had company and there was a group of men  seated at a picnic table drinking beer at the edge of the property line.  I was holding a plate of raw burgers wearing nothing but a very short Victoria Secret nightgown with a neckline that…  It’s just an everyday lightweight knit  with spaghetti straps but it fits in such a way that I always put on a light sweater if the boys are  around..but they weren’t.

The men at the picnic table froze momentarily and so did I,  I gave them an apologetic courtesy smile right before I closed the door!

Earlier this week I took a test on Facebook to determine which literary heroine I was most like. The test likened me to Bridget Jones which I found objectionable but when I returned to the house I realized that in some respects the test was probably more right than I cared to admit.

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British Court Rules on Potato Chips

Pringles Logo
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Today a Britsh court ruled that Pringles are potato chips. I’m curious to know what Proctor & Gamble was trying to present them as.

I once attended an agriculture round table meeting hosted by the University of Minnesota, the professor was trying to promote food irradiation to a group of public school officials. In the lead up to discussing treating food with radiation he did an overview of some landmark cases in the food history. The most noteworthy was a case brought by an unnamed tomato sauce company in the 70’s or 80’s who argued that maggots didn’t constitute filth in food because they were not visible. The unnamed company of course lost but its not much different than Pringles arguing whether or not a potato chip is a potato chip…key ingredient?  I wonder how much the tomato sauce suit cost taxpayers?

Did you hear about the 150 Amish Paste tomatoes I planted? Well now you know the rest of the story.

The FDA’s 3 second rule

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How to Recognize GM Produce in the Supermarket

These apples have PLU stickers with the number...
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Often the fruits and vegetables sold in the supermarket carry a sticker with a PLU code, that code doesn’t just tell the cashier how to ring up your produce it tells you how the food was grown and whether or not it was genetically modified.

Produce that has been conventionally grown consists of 4 numbers and organically grown produce has 5 numbers prefaced with the number 9.  The PLU code on produce that has been genetically modified also has five numbers but the number is prefaced with the number 8.

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The Spirit of Christmas during Lent

Cookie I like to bake right before the holiday’s. This year I invited family over on baking day, pulled out the ornaments and decorations and served cookies, hot cinnamon rolls and drinks as people came and went during the day .  It was loads of work but I enjoyed it so much that I’ll definitely do it again next year with a few changes.  I especially loved that so many people added ornaments to the tree and embellishments to the house and the cookies.

Unfortunately some of the cookies that came out of the oven broke and they lingered on the table undecorated until Rachel arrived. Rachel is my son Benjamin‘s housemate and girlfriend. As I pulled trays of cookies from the oven she visited with me and began mending the broken cookies, fusing their decapitated heads and disemboweled bodies with frosting. It was so Nightmare Before Christmas I was sorry I didn’t break more cookies in the process of baking finding them darkly entertaining and befitting to our holiday history.

For years we topped our tree with an angel. We were very poor the year I bought the angel tree topper, she was affordable but didn’t look very angelic…more evil and she never stood erect at the top of the tree, she leaned forward with her wings spread like she was hawking over us…leering.  Over time she became known among family members as our Archangel* and long after we could afford to replace her she maintained her place atop our Christmas tree fusing us together with memories of dark humor and harder times. Holiday cookies with stitches fit right in even if Rachel was too new to our family to fully realize it.

Throughout the holiday season the decorated cookies were stored in tins and eventually were pared down to a single plastic storage container where a single disemboweled cookie got stuck to the side of the container. I left him there because it made me laugh and even after the container was completely empty he went undisturbed out of fear he would break. On random occasions I’d talk to him and even ask his preferences as to the evenings dinner menu… he noted a marked preference for lamb.

Cookie is no longer stuck to the plastic container and has since taken up residences on my baker’s rack in the kitchen. Next Christmas I’ll bake a girl cookie named Ginger with Angelina Jolie’s lips, plastic surgery stitches and a bent for short, bald guys who smell like sweetened vanilla.

*In true biblical fashion the Archangel perished during a flood in 2004 …really.

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Filed under Cooking, Events, Fiction Writing, Food, Holiday, Humor, Life, Minnesota Fiction, United States

Bon Appetit

Logo of Arby's
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I spent most of my day yesterday in St. Cloud.  My mother wanted to shop for clothes and I frequently join her because  I’m good at breezing through  a store and plucking items off the rack to pull together outfits. A nd I also remember what she looked at on previous shopping trips so when she says, “oh, I like that.” I can say, “you looked at it last time we were here and they don’t have your size.” She typically doesn’t believe me and will check the tags only to discover that… they don’t have her size, then she looks at me suspiciously.  I’ve often envied my mother for this because she’s able to look at the same items with first-sight delight whereas I feel I’ve seen it before, because I have.

Yesterday I grabbed a black jacket that I thought would be great cut on her, maybe a bit more fashion forward than she typically goes but I thought she’d be sold on the way it looked on her. At first she frowned at it and said she didn’t like it. I frowned back and said, humor me. So she he tried it on then bought it.

By the time we finished shopping my mother had amassed over $300.00 in clothing for $50.00. In addition to the black jacket she also purchased a suede coat for $7.49, its original price was around $79.00 and a double breasted gray wool coat for $29.99, originally priced at $200.00, it was a good day.

After shopping we typically eat out, I was on a schedule so we decided to skip our favorite establishments and eat at Arby’s in the mall. As my mother and I ate a woman came in coughing like she had TB and she naturally took a seat close to me.  After coughing up a lung she began blowing her nose. I try to accept the fact that people are different but I honestly don’t have the stomach for that and certainly not while I’m eating, my mother was less phased than I was and finished her sandwhich. I stopped short and as the coughing and blowing continued I excused myself opting to meet my mother in the mall, lest my stomach turn inside out.

I don’t know what it is with this particular Arby’s but on one other occassion, while I was eating with Nick and Alexa, a woman pulled her toddler from the bathroom with a bare bottom and stood him next to the trash where she finished cleaning his bottom with paper towels. Naturally I was sitting directly across from her work area and I found it so off the charts offensive that I wanted to fall over laughing. I just kept thinking, you cannot possibly be serious!

The trash had one of those hinged openings so she was pushing poopy paper towels though the opening to throw them away. The really astonishing part was that an employee witnessed the butt mopping in the dining area and did nothing, she didn’t even disinfect the opening on the rubbish bin. I wondered about the people who dined later and pushed open that very door… with their hand. Both instances made me wonder about the cleanliness of fast food estabishments, especially when the tables aren’t washed regularly…ish.

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