Category Archives: Home & Garden

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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Today in the Garden

Nick and I gardened today with the Porch Cat. Porch Cat has taken to joining me in the garden and for reasons I can’t explain he likes rolling in the dirt next to me. Perhaps it’s escaped his notice that his coat is half white.

Anyway, my son teased me for wearing garden gloves and garden shoes saying, “I love living closer to the earth…I just don’t want to touch it.” I may have pelted him with a rock, I just can’t remember:)

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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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And That Ends the Entomology Lesson…

About a year ago my son, Ben called from his apartment in a Minneapolis suburb, he had just returned from a week of camping at an outdoor concert when he noticed a massive beetle about the length of his hand on his bag. He thought it was dead so he poked it. The beetle began vibrating, opened its massive wings and took a flying leap to his wall.

Ben was quite on the phone for a minute then said…”yeah,” in a low quiet voice, pausing again, “…all I could do was scream.” He paused, “I gave the guy down the hall beer to kill it”

Yesterday, my oldest son Nick called me over to an area of the driveway where a similarly large beetle had landed on the dogs rear end before falling to the ground. It reminded so much of the beetle Ben described that I decided to take a picture and see if it was the same bug and maybe even find out what kind of beetle it was.

As I snapped the camera the beetle vibrated, opened its wings and took a flying leap at me.  Like my son,  I screamed, so loud that all noise from activity in the neighborhood went silent including the birds and the only audible sound was Nick mumbling “…and that ends the entomology lesson.”

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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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Ant Jumps off Ledge

Is it just me or is it unusual to see an ant jump off the edge of something as opposed to walking down the side of it. Any other species okay but it didn’t seem very ant like.

My son said it was probably a phenomena like Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), leave it to Nick to dish up some  run of the mill theory. I naturally asked what CCD was and he said it was when worker bees stop working and leave hive.  I laughed…I’m still laughing… its sounds so postmodern. Of course bees are exhibiting disorders because Pfizer has a pill right?  Send them to bee therapy because they keep getting passed over for promotions.

Wiki sites among possible causes GMO’s with pest control (can’t imagine that being an issue) or cell phone radiation (really its negligible!)

But truthfully, if anyone in my house needs therapy it’s the cat, he lies.

Food Irradiation: City Pages, Let Them Eat Shit

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On a Beautiful Day

Charles Dickens
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The weather is perfect today and I plan to spend most of the day outdoors. First I need a very long walk because I committed a cardinal sin and ate 4 ice cream sandwiches in 24 hours, suffice it to say  that I refused to visit the scale this morning choosing to ignore her instead. After that there is garden work that needs to be done and sheets that I want to hang outdoors to dry. I plan to accomplish all of this with my MP3 player.

As I am typing this blog post my computer is transfering 33 hours of Charles Dickens, 7.5 hours of Claire Cook, 8 hours of E. Lockhart and the final chapters of Sinclair Lewis. Titles include Little Dorrit, Wildwater Walking Club, The Disreptuble History of Frankie Landau Banks and the the last chapters of Main Street. My favorite way to spend a day…is lost in a book!

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