Tag Archives: tomatoes

“Winter is coming”

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Over the past week I hauled home, sans vehicle, 16 28oz cans of Furmano’s tomatoes which means I now have a stash of 26. I take my tomatoes seriously. Besides, they’re on sale for $1. I used to buy the “Chunky Crushed” but somewhere along the way added ingredients included Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid and Xanthan Gum, and that’s a few too many additives for my pleasure. The “Crushed” variety, although thinner consistency 😢, merely has Citric Acid. Delicious Citric Acid! (I’m kind of kidding. Citric Acid is common and generally considered safe.) While I’m on it, “Diced” contain Calcium Chloride and Citric Acid but I rinse those before using. I stopped buying ready-made, jarred pasta sauces (too much salt & sugar) long ago and canned became my go-to. Furmano’s is tasty and regularly drops to $1 a can, so I stick mainly with them.

I guess I should mention I’ve never canned my own tomatoes and have no interest in starting. The memories of my mother spending days in the kitchen in hot, steamy summers working that scary pressure cooker remain strong. She’d be in a pretty foul mood and the whole enterprise appeared messy and chaotic. Also, um, the results, served up in future family dinners? They were not good, at least to my child self.😒

In the past I’ve made my own sauce from fresh tomatoes (which could be frozen instead of canned) but I really can’t get behind the reality that it takes 20 tomatoes or therabouts, to produce a measly cup of sauce. I don’t care for them odds. Don’t get me started on having to buy tomato paste in order not to have thin, watery sauce…

Two winters ago I shared my tomato stash which looked like this. I have (more) time on my hands in winter to do things like arrange my tomato cans into a pyramid for the purposes of this blog clearly.😁

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If you think one thin, middle-aged woman could not eat all that, you’d be wrong, friends! (She did & then some.)

What led to this post other than the 16-can-purchase was finding the wood shelves they’re pictured on, curbside yesterday. I wasn’t sure what I’d do with them but since they were solidly built & real wood (not pressed board crap) I figured I should just grab them. They were a perfect fit for a spot in the kitchen and after I’d lined up the tomato cans and admired them the words “Winter is coming” sprang to mind. And so it is. But by god I’ll have 🍅.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh! Oh! Oh! Tomatoes and Basil!

Any time of year is good by me for tomatoes and basil but now that it’s summer, I can have them fresh. We’re fortunate, since this is not a farming community, to have a local weekly farmers market. This past Sunday I picked up tomatoes and fresh basil. Hmmmm. My mind slips off the rails for these two, especially in combo.

This salad is so easy. Chopped tomatoes, washed basil leaves. shredded mozzarella, a few rinsed capers, and olive oil. Ohhhhh.

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Not quite pesto, this pasta dish is quicker and easier. To linguine I add minced basil leaves (kitchen scissors make it snappy), chopped tomatoes, a bit of lemon juice, olive oil, and a tiny bit of crushed red peppers to give it a kick. Minced garlic is also to-die-for but as a rule I only add garlic to cooking if it’s my last meal of the day, not if I’m going to be out and around people. I could eat this pasta every day.

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Spinach Salad Deluxe

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I never had raw spinach until I was well into adulthood – like many, I used to cringe at the word “spinach” alone, courtesy memories of over-boiled, bitter clumps of green mush served at family dinners (Popeye cartoons not withstanding). Fresh, raw spinach, especially when it’s young & tender, is an entirely different vegetable as well as a nutrient powerhouse.
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I tend to plan my eating/meals around grocery sales. I had the excellent fortune to get an 8oz bag of spinach for $1.25 (the loosely sold spinach usually looks bad, old, or tough), an 8oz carton of mushrooms for $1.50, and vine-ripe tomatoes for .99/lb. (The ad said the tomatoes were $1.49/lb which was okay, but my heart actually jumped when I saw the price would be even better!) I immediately began to think of the scrumptious salad I would have…

Once home and prepping my salad, I decided to go for it and add lots of other delights:

Spinach
Tomato sliced up
Mushrooms sliced
Hard boiled egg
Dill pickle sliced
Raw, unsalted Sunflower Seeds
Half can tuna
A few rinsed capers
Provolone cheese
Red onion
Nutritional Yeast
Fresh ground Black Pepper
Canola oil
White Wine Vinegar

(If I’d some cooked beans on hand, like chickpeas, I’d have thrown those in too, but I didn’t.)

I love eating like this and especially the sustained energy it gives me. It was DELICIOUS.