Monday, August 31, 2009

Makin' Hay While The Sun Shines

We've all heard the term "making hay while the sun shines". This is a folksy way of saying, you've got to get the work done while you can.

In August, when the garden is bursting, I've got to put in the work with the harvest while it's still going which has meant a very busy few weeks. Before, during and after regular work hours, I've been making tomato sauce, drying tomatoes, churning out pesto, roasting peppers, freezing veggies and more. This is what I get when I innocently plant a modest few plants around Mother's Day; paybacks for my naive ambitions.

But, it's therapeutic work. There's no denying, I've had a summer of the Drama Llama. Lots of situations out of my control, but which still very much effect me and those I love the most. Spending the time outdoors pulling weeds, propping up vines, picking fruit and bringing in the fruits of our labors opens up the mind to think, process and work outside the box.

This has meant precious little time to be artfully inclined in the tiny studio, but I feel no less creative when I'm chopping, stirring or tasting something that's been kissed by the sun and infused with great flavors. It's a different kind of process, but equally satisfying.

So, the tomatoes are still madly producing and the recipes keep coming...

First is one that uses the Tipsy Tomato Sauce as a base for Pizza Sauce. We make a lot of pizza and while some members of the family like less sauce and some like more, we all agree that this sauce is 'just right' for us. My son even took a jar to college with him last week.

Pizza Sauce
1 3/4 C. Tipsy Tomato Sauce
1/2 C. tomato paste
2 small cloves garlic minced
1/2 ts. dried oregano or 1 ts. fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 ts. dried basil or 1 ts. fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 ts. sugar
1/4 ts. salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and process for 15 seconds or until smooth. If you have them, in the summer use fresh herbs. The fresh basil, most especially, makes a difference in the flavor of the sauce, but dried always works. It's pizza sauce; not the Holy Grail.

Another great recipe is for Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes. This one comes from the tomato recipe collection I talked about with the first tomato recipe post. With some farm fresh corn and whatever protein you throw on the grill, this rounds out a very nice meal with full flavor...

Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes
2 large, firm tomatoes
3 T. dry seasoned bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 ts. fresh basil, chopped (just a leaf or two)
2 ts. fresh parsley
1/4 C. grated mozarella
2 T. butter, softened

Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Combine the remaining ingredients and pack into the tomato cavities. Place on aluminum foil cute side up and grill for 15-20 minutes or until tomatoes are heated through and the cheese is melted.

~I've changed up the song playlist with some Back to School stuff. Am I imagining or did I feel the first cool, crisp hint of Fall in the air this morning?


Rosemary said...

I love your blog, Casii - always a great read. I envy the simple joy of your garden and having seen it in person, I can vouch that it is loved and used and provides so much! Love the recipes, I need to keep a sheet of these (I hope next year to have a real garden of my own).

I'm enjoying the music too - To Sir With Love - haven't heard that in a while!

Dianna said...

So glad your garden is such good therapy...and the end result is SO yummy*!*

Amy said...

Both recipies sound super yummy...I seem to kill anything I try to except my kids...LOL