This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to tell us what you do when you find yourself with an abundance of tomatoes because ’tis the season!
Ode to Tomatoes by Pablo Neruda
the street filled with tomatoes, midday, summer,
light is halved like a tomato, its juice runs through the streets.
in December, unabated, the tomato invades the kitchen, it enters at lunchtime,
takes its ease on countertops, among glasses, butter dishes, blue saltcellars.
it sheds its own light, benign majesty.
unfortunately, we must murder it: the knife sinks into living flesh,
red viscera a cool sun, profound, inexhaustible, populates the salads of Chile,
happily, it is wed to the clear onion, and to celebrate the union we pour oil,
essential child of the olive, onto its halved hemispheres,
pepper adds its fragrance, salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding of the day, parsley hoists its flag,
potatoes bubble vigorously, the aroma of the roast knocks at the door,
it’s time! come on! and, on the table, at the midpoint of summer, the tomato,
star of earth, recurrent and fertile star, displays its convolutions,
its canals, its remarkable amplitude and abundance, no pit, no husk,
no leaves or thorns, the tomato offers its gift of fiery color and cool completeness.
It is my favorite time of the year, that moment when the garden is overflowing with ripe tomatoes and the point of tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is upon us! My love for tomatoes matches Pablo Neruda’s…it is indeed time!
I have made 2 batches of jam thus far and will make a third batch later this week – sadly, this is the only way Steve will eat tomatoes. For me however, there is nothing that compares to the taste of fresh tomatoes. My favorite lunch is a bowl of tomatoes sprinkled with salt and some freshly cracked pepper then drizzled with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple and so delicious. Breakfast? A bit of cottage cheese and more tomatoes – the breakfast of the gardener! And, I can always find room on my dinner plate for some beautiful red tomato slices! And, the gardener’s snack? Sun-warmed tomatoes fresh off the vine are summer’s best candy!
And, if there are more tomatoes than I can eat – I can always find someone who is happy with the gift of a fresh tomato or two!
If you want to see what others are doing with all their tomatoes, you will find them here. If you would like to join Carole and me for Think Write Thursday’s, you can sign up here!
This week, there is no official Think Write Thursday topic however, thinking and writing continue. So today, I am just giving you a random round-up of some of the “thinks” that have become things this week.
I finally had enough cherry tomatoes to make Tomato Jam… well, perhaps it is better to put it this way, I finally had enough cherry tomatoes to eat and make Tomato Jam. The house smelled aMAZing yesterday. Although, the washing machine install guy asked me if I was making apple pie. I kid you not! I said no its tomato jam, and he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language or had two heads. It was a moment, let me tell you. And, yes… I wanted to shout, “NO JAM FOR YOU”!! Suffice it to say that our Friday Happy Hour will be extra good this week!
And, yes… let me go on a bit about the new washing machine! It is completely silent… no really, it is! The only sound is that of the water running when the tub fills. I called Steve at work and put him on speaker and said listen to the washer…. He said, I don’t hear anything. I said exactly! I guess you had to be there, but it was a moment of sheer bliss. Trust me!
I took a page from Kym this week and did some deadheading… literally and figuratively. It was an excellent thing to do – my flowers look better and my mind is unburdened in a most pleasant way.
I was tempted by this little sweater and there is a rumor of a “weekend KAL” coming up! Well, swatching has begun. I know… what the heck is wrong with me!?! I am blaming this “cast-on-it is” that I am experiencing on the current state of affairs right now. As in, I must knit all the things before something really upsetting happens!!
Now, I am off to finish that gauge swatch! See you all back here tomorrow!
If you want to participate in Think Write Thursday’s with me and Carole, you can sign up here!
This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to write a post to welcome August.
“August, the summer’s last messenger of misery, is a hollow actor. – Henry Rollins
I have very mixed emotions about you. You usher in the end of summer and you always go racing by.
You think that your cooling nights will distract me from your noticeably shorter days – but the fading light makes me so sad.
And while my garden is heavy laden with fruits yet to ripen; we cling to your warm sunny days.
Perhaps, this year you will linger well beyond your numbered days.
At least, that is my wish!
If you want to see what others had to say to August, you will find them here. If you want to join Carole and me on Think Write Thursday’s, you can sign up here!
This week’s topic for Think Write Thursday is to share my favorite summer meal ideas, including recipes if applicable. Are you all about the grill? Or maybe do you prefer salads. Do you use your crock-pot a lot in the summer? Or would you rather have sandwiches? Tell us what you’re eating and tell us how you prepare it!
Summer for me is all about fresh. Fresh from the garden. Fresh from the farmer’s market. Fresh.
Part of the challenge is to preserve ‘fresh’ to carry us through the months where fresh has been shipped in from someplace else.
Last night’s harvest
But, for me the best and most important “taste” of summer are tomatoes – there is nothing on this earth that tastes like a fresh from the garden tomato. Strangely, Steve hates tomatoes. I know… what the heck? Anyways, I have tried to alter this with zero success until I found this recipe for Tomato Jam. Really, it is so good and Steve loves it! I make it exactly as the recipe is written. And, trust me when I say that a bit of this in January brings summer rushing back!
The other thing I love are pickles – they are the perfect addition to Happy Hour and my favorite simple recipe is this one by Andrew Zimmern. My only addition to the recipe is ½ to 1 tsp of red pepper flakes to make them sweet and spicy. So good, and when you grow the cucumbers it is even better!
For dinner, tonight I am going to do a “southwest riff” on stuffed peppers. I will cut these peppers in half and fill them with a mixture of black beans, fresh sweet corn, onion, some of my tomato sauce, a little bit of ground beef, and some spices (I will use chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper). It is super simple, brown the ground beef. Add the onion and garlic and cook until they are soft. Add the spices and the tomato sauce. Heat through. Spoon over the halved peppers and bake in a 350° F oven for 35 minutes or until the peppers begin to soften a bit and the sauce is bubbly. Top with some low-fat cheese and return to the oven for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve with an ice-cold beer.
What about you? What foods say summer to you?
You will find more good food here. If you want to join Carole and me on Think Write Thursday’s, you can sign up here.
This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to write about “what you do to beat the heat! We’re deep into summer here and some of us love the heat and some of us hate it but either way we all must cope with it. What do you do that works for you? Share your tips, stories, and more on coping with summer heat!”
There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. John Ruskin
This week has been hot and super humid – and honestly, this is not my favorite weather. You know, when you open the door in the morning to head outside and it feels like a sauna at 6AM you just know it is going to be a miserable day!
In this weather there are lots of things that I worry about – does the garden have enough water? Do the birds have enough water? So, the early morning is spent out making sure the plants all have a good drink and are prepped for the coming heat and I fill the bird bath a couple of times during the day. And, when it’s this warm out the porch and the pergola don’t get much use.
I am exceedingly thankful that we have AC which makes it much easier to sleep at night and to function during the day.
But, rather than complain about the heat, I am reminded of January and February. You know those days that are short on daylight where the temperature does not move out of the single digit zone…That is enough to still any irritation with the heat.
Sitting quietly with a good book is the perfect way to while away a hot day, sipping a big glass of iced tea.
What about you? What do you do to beat the heat?
If you want to see what everyone else does to beat the heat, you will find them here. And, if you would like to join me and Carole for Think Write Thursday’s, you can sign up here.
This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to write about 3 good things that happened this week. We all know that focus on the GOOD is GOOD for us so let’s do it!
Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
This might be the perfect topic for me, Carole made this suggestion and it was like she knew this would be a struggle for me – and really, that is a very good thing.
Okay, maybe in theory…however, reality makes this a challenge for me. Contrary to what you might think, I am not Suzie Sunshine every day. I know, right? But, that is the truth.
So, that quote and this post are going to be my reminder that good things and happiness go hand in hand.
I am going to take a little license and expand “this week” to include last week as well.
One very good (and utterly selfish thing, I admit) was that Steve had a work function last week and he was gone Thursday through Saturday. I know – completely selfish, but what can I say – sometimes a break is a very good thing! This allowed me to stay up as late as I wanted and Sherman slept in bed with me. Oh, and there might have been some marathon knitting time going on and listening to audio-books sans headphones and watching subtitled shows on Netflix. I was ready for him to come home late Saturday afternoon, even if he complained about the knitting and wondered what the heck I was watching! LOL
The second good thing was the nights of rain we have gotten, nice soaking rains. Good sleeping rains.
The third thing is something that I started at the beginning of the month. I was fortunate to get into The Balanced Life Sisterhood. To start, it was so hard and holy cow am I out of shape, but I have been persevering every single day and this week ::even though the workouts are still so hard:: I could do more repetitions and more things than I could the week before! This exercise is a very good thing! I am excited to do it! I feel so accomplished when I am done! AND…this is good for my mind as well!
Good things sometimes are selfish, sometimes replenishing, and sometimes are hard work. But, they do create happiness!
If you want to see more good things, you will find them here. And, if you want to join Carole and me on Think Write Thursdays, you can sign up here.