Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Embarrassment of Tomatoes

Shortly after completing my last tomato post, and smugly satisfied at using almost all my outstanding garden tomatoes, I went out to water my plants.

And came back in with another large bowl full.

Now, don't get me wrong. What with the advent of today's cool grey misty rain, it's clear that tomato season is coming to an end. I'm going to treasure all these little gems, and try not to waste any due to laziness or poor dinner planning.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tomato Envy

Lately it's all I can do to stay on top of eating all the tomatoes that are being thrown at me. Not only are they cheap and fabulous in the stores and farmers markets, but my mom and my cousin's boyfriend are constantly on me to eat the overflow tomatoes from their gardens, and my own dear heritage plant even seems ready to deliver a ripe tomato in the next couple days. ohhhhh yeah baby!

Come with me now, on a tomato tour around the garden and kitchen:

These little yellow gems are from Dan's garden. He has the Italian touch with tomatoes, and all his plants are putting out truly sickening amounts of fruit. (bastard!) But in his favour, he has given me carte blanche to take whatever I want, especially the yellow ones, which he doesn't much like, and were mostly rotting on the plant. The red beauty in the upper left corner is one of my mother's tomatoes, waiting patiently to be used in something delicious.

These guys were just a little bit past their prime, and did not make the cut for breakfast. Back to the compost for you, boys.

Sizzling up in some butter. mmmmm, delicious butter.

Aaand - breakfast. Sautee'd tomatoes, free range eggs, butter and cheesie toast. Amen. Please excuse the messy plating, I was in a rush to eat this awesome-smelling food. But I'm well aware that that kind of shit would not cut it in the real cheffy world.

And now, into the garden:

One of my mom's tomato plants - despite being left untended for like 5 weeks and having no trellis or support, this sprawling plant is producing dozens of big fat delicious tomatoes. Jealous!!

My little heritage plant is finally making some big tomatoes, but the weather is starting to turn, and I'm worried that they'll have to be harvested green.

But one or two of them will definitely be ripe in time. Some interesting pathogen growth on the one on the right there.

Even if I don't get a single other ripe tomato, I feel that this guy here, glowing orange and just about ready to be plucked, will totally have been worth it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bright Harvest 2 - Back For Breakfast

Alas, it's just about time for me to say goodbye to my delicious garden-fresh lettuce - aboohoohoo. There's just barely enough left for a sandwich, but I'll have to get it quickly before the caterpillars finish it off. I probably could have gotten one more generation of seedlings going if I'd been on the ball a few weeks ago. Ah well, it's back to the pricey store-bought stuff for the winter. I love you lettuce, it's been fun.

Also, check out this big ripe strawberry, which formed the cornerstone of my healthy, well-balanced breakfast yesterday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bright Harvest

Fruits of evil, fruits of eeevilllll!

No, seriously though... I am pleased to announce that my pepper plant's second set of peppers has now commenced the ripening!!! (the first round having been destroyed by some evil little squirrels)

I have faith that I'll be able to get all of these peppers fully ripe before autumnal rains potentially wilt this little plant. Two of them look pretty much ready to go anytime I want them.

Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to make with them once they're harvested. mwahahahahahaha!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saucey Steak Sandwich

I love steak. Loooove steak. I always want to order it in fancy restaurants, but unless you're paying $40+ they never seem to make a good enough sauce. Which seems crazy, since it's the easiest thing in the world.

Today I decided to cook the grain-fed new york steak I bought yesterday, and make a steak sandwich for lunch. Starting with my trusty cast iron pan, heated to smoking hot, I quickly cooked the steak for a couple minutes each side, with a handful of strawberry tomatoes along for the ride. After the steak was done, I deglazed the pan with a splash of brandy, squashed one of the tomatoes for juice and added a little knob of butter to finish the sauce. It's as easy as that!

By this point, the steak had rested, so I sliced it and put it on a freshly toasted bun with a bit of mayo and a few of my last little leaves of garden lettuce. I've got a couple of the tomatoes leftover for another day, but other than that I have eaten the lot, and licked the plate clean. And now, now I have the itis.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good Morning, Good Morning!

It's great to stay up late, good morning, good morning to you!

See, with a plateful like this, I just don't feel the need to bother with toast anymore. Is that heresy? So be it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

People who really LOVE their food

Spent a fun night out eating cheap curry and watching the cooking-centric film Julie and Julia with some wonderful friends. I'm glad I went into the thing stuffed with spicy carbohydrates, because this is not a film to watch hungry. Shot after loving shot of beautiful buttery food reminded me of the reason that I cook (and write about it). Because I love it.

And because it's an act of minor creation, and faith in the process. And because it's something you can do to brighten the lives of those around you in a really concrete fashion.

All this by way of saying, I'm back. And I'm sorry about the hiatus. It's been a trying time, but I've got plenty of ideas to share, and finished products to show off.

Also, all those loving shots of Julia's fabulously outfitted kitchen in the movie have seriously left me with a resounding desire to go fondle some beautiful, beautiful cookware. Ohhh, Le Creuset...