Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Report No. 3

This is one of the flowers Will planted--I believe it's called a Mexican Sunflower. All of his flowers are orange or blue. The blue ones are Bachelor's Buttons, which we know now to plant en masse; otherwise they just kind of flop over and look at you with these pathetic, sadsack expressions. Photo credit: The Man.

As I write this, Jack is cutting an onion into wedges. He's making pot roast for dinner. I know, I know, who makes pot roast in July? But our deal is that when he cooks his weekly meal, he can pick what he wants to make. So pot roast it is.

He made two pies for the 4th of July--strawberry lemonade and Key Lime--but has slowed down on pie production since. He says the two pies for the 4th put him ahead a week. He did make wonderful popsicles yesterday, chocolate and vanilla swirls that called for many bowls, much melting, and a long grocery store search for plain, whole fat yogurt. You could spend years looking for that stuff. Low fat is everywhere. It's a shame.


I tried making mozzarella on Tuesday, but failed. I thought maybe I didn't get the temperatures right, or maybe added too much citric acid, or didn't get the rennet diluted enough.

But as it turns out, the problem was much simpler. Turns out that I don't know what a gallon of milk is. I bought a half-gallon, called it a gallon, tried to make mozzarella and ended up with something like ricotta.

But you know what? Whatever I made, it tasted delicious. Last night I ate it with blackberry jam spooned over it. And then I bought a gallon of milk. Turns out that's a lot of milk, cowboy.


Canning update: Today, blueberry jam. Saturday, tomato-basil sauce. Yep, I have eight pounds of ripe tomatoes, thanks to our neighbor, Mr. Eddie, who gave us several plants in early spring that he'd started under lights in January. We've had to ripen a lot of our tomatoes on the porch, to keep them out of the clutches of the squirrels, but they seem to do just fine.

Looking out across the garden, there appear to be approximately 900 tomatoes about to come to fruition. It is possible I will soon feel overwhelmed by the sheer tomato-y goodness of my life. Is there such a thing as too many tomatoes?

No, no there is not.


Pot roast. It's what's for dinner.


The dB family said...

Mmmm, pot roast sounds good -- even if it is summer. We had chili yesterday. It was comparatively cool yesterday, so I felt like chili. It was very good! I really don't think you can ever have too many tomatoes.Have fun canning!


Melissa E said...

I did that the first time I made the mozzarella but I caught the mistake before I started making it and ran out to the store for another half-gallon. It's easy to make that mistake with those Maple View farm bottles! I made a batch of mozzarella today! Yum!

debbie bailey said...

Here's a recipe for you using tomatoes: Slice one into 1/2 in. slices and top each slice with a mixture of mozzarella, mayo, salt and pepper. Stick under the broiler until the cheesy stuff is melted. Fantastico!

wayside wanderer said...

We are going to have roast tomorrow. I like to shred it and put it on tortillas. Then it doesn't feel so wintry.

It is fun how your man is taking such fabulous pictures and you write. That is real collaboration!

And I have tomato envy. Big time.

Gumbo Lily said...

Pot roast was for dinner here tonight too! Yup. And it was 95* here. It almost smells weird in the house when there's a pot roast simmering in the crockpot in summer. But'll feed us three or four meals. Already we used some of it for gyros (with the leftover tzatziki sauce) and we shredded some of the roast up and sauteed it with onions and jalapenos and tossed it into tacos. Yum!

Can't be enough tomatoes. You can always, always can them.


GretchenJoanna said...

My, aren't you having fun! Are any of your tomatoes cherry tomatoes? If so, you can make the slow roasted cherry tomatoes on my blog and they are fantastic.
Also, when I used to have a lot of tomatoes, I made a tomato pudding from the Joy of Cooking book. Tell me if you want that recipe and I'll post it. You eat it as a side dish that you will love if you like pizza or pasta sauce.

Tracy said...

We had pot roast this week. But it's the middle of winter here, so it makes perfect sense!

I'm glad your 'failed' mozzarella became a delicious something-or-other else!

Angela said...

pot roast sounds fabulous. Do encourage Jack to try making his own yogurt [lots of info online] - adding extra milk powder to the milk you use makes it wonderfully thick and richer.
Also try sdtraining yogurt through a coffee filter- thick yogurt - almost like cream cheese results, with the filtered liquid being brilliant for scones [I think that you call them 'biscuits' in the US]

please tell Jack he can cook meals over here ANYTIME - and when I get to my target weight, he can send me a pie.

my plant now has TWO tomatoes, both the size of cherries.

I am not sure I'll ever have ENOUGH tomatoes. Relying on good gardening friends in the village to share their glut with me.

sunny summer blessings xx

Pom Pom said...

Pot roast is so tasty! I want some. I couldn't find a decent pot roast at the store the other day. Wow! You are farmers extraordinaire! I did not know that squirrels like tomatoes. That's so good to know. Jack should keep a journal, writing about his cooking exploits. He'll love reading it when he's a husband.