Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My love affair with tomatoes

I had a ton of tomatoes this year - seriously I filled up a massive bag with them and sorted them out between the "green" bag and the "red" bag. I actually love the idea of using green tomatoes in cooking. The idea that something doesn't have to be just about the awesome flavor that comes from a beautifully ripe tomato, but that it can also be about the blandness (think eggplant) and about the texture.

I made a whole lot of green tomato salsa this year out of the green tomatoes, and as I'm far too paranoid to can tomatoes I gave the majority of the salsa away (it was pretty awesome go here: Image005/09/saving-harvest-green-tomato-relish.html for the recipe - she calls it a relish, I figure as I'm foreign and have no clue about the difference between a salsa and a relish I am hereby renaming it a salsa).

With all the lovely red ripe (sometimes VERY ripe) tomatoes I decided to slowly roast them with some garlic and onions, salt and pepper and make a simple red sauce with them. Out of this I made pizza sauce, and a simple pasta sauce. Man I love having a P-patch.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mushrooms aka mushies

It's mushroom season over here! It is amazing the variety and the amazing flavors that different mushies imbibe.

Josh and I went mushy hunting on Saturday (at a undisclosed location) and it was amazing. We went a couple of times last year but failed pretty badly at finding any edible (and tasty edible) mushies. This year however was different, we found some amazing lobster mushies (which as we are on the West coast are edible) and also some beautiful chanterelles.

Lobster mushies are actually a mushrooms being consumed by a parasite. They are incredibly bright (hence easy spotting) and really crispy mushrooms. The few I found I cooked down with a ton of butter, shallots and thyme and put them with some gruyere and a simple thyme custard for a tasty quiche. The lobsters do keep their density, they are quite a bit "toothy" and a smidge crunchy, you know they are there. Their flavor is pretty subtle, but they go up a few notches in my books simply because we went out and found them (note that we did get our mushies verified by an expert).

The chanterelles were beautiful as well, yet not half as vibrant as the lobsters. They smell floral/fruity and we noticed that when we found one - we found quite a few others. Josh is going to go hunting next week again, so maybe we'll have another bounty!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


This year we had a p-patch. Which, for those of you who don't know is a plot of land designated by someone to be a plot of land in which the public can grow things o - for people who can't have a garden. It was both a success and a disaster. We had broccoli raab, lovely red onions, tomatoes of three heirloom varieties, leeks, lovely carrots and a multitude of other things that sort of well, grew unencumbered. It's our first year, I'm sure it'll get better, as I do intend to have another p-patch next year. But, we did have a TON of tomatoes. Some rather ripe ones. So I quickly went about washing, halving and olive oiling them so that they could be slowly roasted (along with a ton of garlic and some yellow onions). I made a lovely sauce that will last through the winter months.

I'm ashamed to say I don't have picts of our P-patch, but I hope you imagine it to be a lovely jumble of plants growing like crazy!

Cripes! It's been ages! I think it's hard to gain momentum when it's been such a loooonnnggg time between posts. I have been baking (of course!). But I haven't been documenting what I bake. Here - this ends!

We had a few turbulent months that involved a couple of house moves and so I think we are fairly settled here, and so I have finally found the camera and am starting to document the whole baking thing once more.

The markets didn't work out this summer, but I do intend to try again next year, as I feel that I really want to bake food my way, in season and for only the lovely part of the year (sunny!). I did however, get a job at an awesome local chocolate shop, so I am making chocolates and learning a whole lot and in my spare time I'm playing with baking.

I'm back. I'll keep documenting what I bake, we'll see how it goes.