Thursday, September 17, 2009

When Tomatoes Attack

The past few days have been an extravaganza of tomatoes. Canning tomatoes, oven roasting (or attempting to) tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato basil soup (fabulous) and then, the best thing EVER. Rustic tomato tart. Hand made pastry crust (1 &1/3 cup flour and 9 tablespoons of cold butter, plus just a bit of water) topped with ricotta, chopped thyme, oregano, italian parsley, and basil, shredded caramelized onion cheddar, tomatoes (both fresh and roasted), and MORE of the cheddar. All baked at 375 for about half an hour. I got one piece. I took the whole thing over for my folks to have for dinner, asking that they leave me some. Apparently it went over so well Mama Bird had to stop my step-father from finishing it off! And I just ate the piece that was left me. It was like pizza, but better. Soooooo much better. I wish I had made another one! This Sunday I'll try a variation, same crust with brie and apples and watercress. I intend to use that cheddar again too. If you have access to a Trader Joe's, that is where the cheddar was obtained. And, dear GOD, is it good! I highly recommend it for any number of dishes. A grilled cheese sandwich with that cheese would be just this side of heaven. And no, not THAT type of grilled cheese sandwich! Ooh, and add bacon! That would be drool inducing!
See, last weekend Mama Bird and I got it into our heads that we would can tomatoes. Our plan was to go to a farm and pick 'em ourselves. Well, life got in the way of that plan so we got our tomatoes at the farmers market. All 25 pounds of them. Yes, 25 pounds of tomatoes. The idea was that we could can them and then make chili and pasta all winter without resorting to cans from the store. Interesting thing about tomatoes, they cook way down when you can them. We need at least ten more pounds to even try to make it through the winter.
But just since Sunday (I also made chili - with the help of a friend - that day) I have logged about 15 hours in the kitchen. I didn't do much today but warm things up for my meals. This coming week I have a few more dishes I'd like to make, and at least one of those Mama Bird wants to try. She never got any of the french onion soup, so that's on the list. Any diet plans I had have flown right out the window.

--Little Bird is getting fat, again.


aikiwaza said...

Wow! I had a small crop of tomatoes growing, but a plague of some kind came into the area. All the tomatoes would be just under ripe one day and literally, by the afternoon, looked like they had rotted away.
Hope the canning was fun! :)

Little Bird said...

Did ZA happen to be around? Tomato zombie rot? I can't grow much of anything. Except maybe mold. Two black thumbs. Cut flowers last longer around me than potted plants!
The canning part of the afternoon was not so much fun as it was a learning experience. Spending time with the new beau was great fun though!