Friday, August 20, 2010

Here's to feeling 4 years old again

I was up before the sun yesterday morning picking and grading entries for the Ag Fair.By 7:15 the entries had assembled themselves on the stairs for the annual class picture.The Class of 2010

All entries had to be inside the hall by 8:15 and people were rushing up a the last minute with their flowers and their baked goods. As someone said yesterday, "On Fair day everyone is 4 years old again !"

Fair Week !!!

The ribbons were hung by the chimney with care
Because it was the week of the Fair

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Night Blooming Cereus

Two summers ago a friend gave me a leaf from her Night Blooming Cereus. That summer her plant had, in one night, produced 23 blooms. It was like walking into paradise that night.

Well I am not great with house plants, but this little offspring gave me two blooms this summer. The first one I MISSED !!!! Never looked in its direction the night it bloomed. But last week I was given a second chance. What a miracle these blooms are. These photos were taken in the space of one hour last Wednesday night.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Quest for "the biggest tomato"

Here is an existential question: If a 2 pound tomato ripens in your garden 2 weeks before the Ag Fair does it make a sound? Is it still the biggest tomato? Today I pulled this beauty, a Big Zac grown from seed, out of the garden. It weighed in at a whopping 2 pounds 5.1 ounces.

There is no way it will save until the Fair and is as I write this being cooked down to sauce. It isn't just about GROWING the biggest tomato, it is also about timing it right.

Green Beans and Sungolds

It seems everyone has a new favorite cherry tomato this summer ... the Sungold. They are like garden candy. A few weeks ago I ran across this great pasta sauce recipe for cherry tomatoes. I wish I could remember where I found it so I could offer the link .
Note: Just found the link at The Wednesday Chef many thanks to Luisa.
Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce

Preheat oven to 450 F (I have also done this on the gas grill on hot days placing the Pyrex in the middle of the grill with no flame)

Slice cherry tomatoes in half and place cut side up in an 8 x 8 oven proof dish. Mix 1/3 cup bread crumbs, 3 cloves diced garlic and ¼ cup parmesean cheese and sprinkle over cut tomatoes. Bake in the 450 oven for 20 minutes. Cook pasta (thin spaghetti, bow tie or penne are good) Reserve a half cup of pasta water before draining. There is probably enough sauce here for a half pound of pasta.
Remove cooked tomatoes from the oven. Add fresh torn basil and toss. Then toss the pasta in the mixture, add the pasta water (optional) drizzle good EVO over the mix and toss again. Sprinkle with more cheese and serve.

The other crop I have in abundance are green beans. I ran across this recipe in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for a green bean dip and made it for the first time last night. The only thing I added were a few cloves of garlic.

Frijole-Mole (from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle)

"sloshing in the saliva of August"

The writer's almanac hit the bull's eye again with this one.

Cherry Tomatoes

by Anne Higgins

Suddenly it is August again, so hot,
breathless heat.
I sit on the ground
in the garden of Carmel,
picking ripe cherry tomatoes
and eating them.
They are so ripe that the skin is split,
so warm and sweet
from the attentions of the sun,
the juice bursts in my mouth,
an ecstatic taste,
and I feel that I am in the mouth of summer,
sloshing in the saliva of August.
Hummingbirds halo me there,
in the great green silence,
and my own bursting heart
splits me with life.

"Cherry Tomatoes" by Anne Higgins, from At the Year's Elbow. © Mellen Poetry Press, 2000.

Monday, August 02, 2010