Tuesday, September 18, 2012

House of C and E Recipe Exclusive!

The tomatoes are coming in faster than we know what to do with.  Taking a recipe from C's mom, N, we've came up with this simple little recipe that's great for using up the torrent of tomatoes (and any other goodies from the garden that you'd like to use up) that occurs this time of year.

Tomatoes - as many as you can use
Garlic - several cloves
A pasta
Fresh basil
Olive oil

In a baking dish, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, to coat the bottom of the dish.  Add whatever pasta you prefer, covering the bottom of the dish to form about a half inch layer of pasta (we've used Barilla's tortellini - in a bag, not frozen, in the pasta aisle).  Add as many tomatoes on top of the pasta.  If you're using larger tomatoes, chop each into a few pieces.  We've been using the small sun sugar tomatoes (like cherry tomatoes) from the garden so we just add them whole.  Fill up the rest of the dish space (and even a little over the top) with the tomatoes.  Scatter several cloves of garlic over the tomatoes (seriously, we usually use 5-7 cloves).  If you have it, break up some fresh basil over the tomatoes (again, I don't think you can add too much).  Salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the baking dish with a snug-fitting sheet of aluminum foil.  Pop it into a 425 degree oven for about 30 - 45 minutes.  Ultimately, the tomatoes will disintegrate into a glorious soup of tasty tomato goodness, a lot of which will be soaked up by the pasta as it cooks.  Once the tomatoes have transformed into the sublime sauce and the pasta is soft, you're ready to eat.  Enjoy!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

House Miscellania

We've done a lot and not that much at the same time this summer. Sports had a little to do with that – Euro Cup, Tour de France, then the Olympics (see specialized house flag below, displayed for the opening ceremonies:)

We are slowly but steadily advancing on the dining room.

As reference:

We bought, stained, and assembled some all-wood bargain, adjustable, AND foldable adirondack chairs (always wanted some – pictures to come) from our friendly neighborhood hardware store.

More to post as the reinvigoration continues...

Fruit of the Vine, Work of Human Hands

Well, a long overdue garden update, then? You've got it.

This is a shot of the bounty's beginnings in late July:

Some lovely onions, Sunsugar tomatoes, and serrano peppers.

And then there were these in early August:


These are Yukon Golds, and they are delectable. E has been coming up with ways to cook as many things as possible on the grill, and he's taken to chopping these up and roasting them in foil with olive oil, butter onions, salt, and pepper. As a person of Eastern European and Irish background, I delight in this. I also delight in digging up the potatoes – it's like being a kid again, digging for treasure.

You'll note some onions here too. They were fine, but didn't do much, possibly due to underwatering. I'll have to give some thought as to whether I'll do them again next year, or perhaps just do a second row of tasty potatoes.

And from today:

Yes, it's a party out back to be sure. More tomatoes, now adding Opalkas and Mr. Stripeys to the mix, as well as various bell peppers, more serranos, mole peppers, poblanos, a few scallions, and, for the first time ever, tomatillos. Our tomatillo plant (shrub? tree?) is a good five feet tall, and has yet to produce much of significance, but has grown so tall that we had to get two large stakes to which we lashed its tomato cage to keep it from toppling in thunderstorms. If nothing else comes from it, it's the only plant in our whole yard on which I've seen honeybees, so that's something. There are plenty of fruit husks, which precede the actual fruit, but some of them never produce and simply fall off. But now that we've gotten a few, I'm hoping perhaps we'll hit high gear before the frost comes.