Friday, September 2, 2011

ode to summer..

Please tell me it isn't really September already? I can't believe how quickly time is slipping by.

It seems like just last week I was whining about summer coming, droning on and on about how 'me and heat just don't get along.' I think I may have thrown in a few, and please use your best British accent as you read this... "woe is me...what will I do with the children all.summer.long?" Did you do it? And did you picture me with the back of my hand on my forehead as I draped exhaustedly across a chaise?

Good. Because that's exactly how it happened.


I've got to admit, this past summer was actually, dare I say, quite nice. The weather was moderate, which is unusual for my area. But it was was tolerable. And would you believe I actually (secretly and very quietly) wished for a few hotter days so my beautiful tomatoes would ripen? I did. I know. Me. Wishing for heat. Something crazy was definitely going on here.

I blame the tomatoes. They make me do crazy things. Things like wish for heat and make tomato sauce from scratch. Yep. You read that right. I made my own tomato sauce. I looked online and in some cook books for inspiration and then I did whatever the heck I wanted. What can I say? It's how I roll.

I had a ton of tomatoes...beautiful, ripe, delicious tomatoes. And we couldn't eat them fast enough. So after much gearing up and positive self-talk (I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And gosh darnit, people like me.) I went for it. I blanched a bunch of tomatoes...removed their skins (and gave them to the chickens...happy girls, for sure)...chopped the tomatoes into small chunks...seasoned them with garlic and onion (that we also grew) and Italian seasoning...I added some sugar and some salt and some fresh basil from the stand down the road. Then simmered it all for an hour or so.

It was great...I felt like I actually knew what I was doing. I felt natural and together. It was awesome.

When the sauce was done and the tomatoes were all saucy and the flavors all melded together I looked at my beautiful creation, admiring its fresh, homegrown goodness...and I had no idea what to DO with it.

Not a clue.

So I let it sit a while.

And then I froze it.

Then get this...later in the week I made some spaghetti sauce...using canned goods. My husband looked at me like I was crazy and barked, "What's this? Didn't you just just make real tomato sauce?"

*Cricket cricket*

It wasn't until yesterday that I finally worked up the nerve to actually use it. I added it to a Crock Pot full of chicken tenders and made something akin to cacciatore. And can I just say...the sauce was GOOD. It was different. It was better than anything I've ever made using tomatoes from a can. I'm ruined. I thought we grew a lot of tomatoes this season. Just wait until next year.

Summer, summer, summer. I was just beginning to enjoy it. And's almost over. (Am I ever happy?!)

Yes, summer is coming to an end alright. The kids are back in school, the mornings are cooling off, football is on...sure signs that Fall is in the air. And I really need to pinch myself as I say this...but I think this may be the first summer ever that I might be a little bit sad to see it go. (Who AM I? I know!)

Don't get me wrong. I still don't like the heat. But my tomatoes for that reason alone I will miss summer.

A little.


Denise said...

i am hoping my tomatoes turn red. we have warm temperatures predicted for the next week. there is hope yet!

nice work on your sauce :)

APeacock said...

I have to say...I am SO jealous of your tomatoes...seriously. It's the one thing I really miss from living in the hot, more desert-y just can't grow them decent here in WA...

I can't believe September is here. say it isn't so...

teekaroo said...

I'm having a little identity crisis going on here too. I love fall. It's my favorite season, and yet, I would like to un-invite it for a few more weeks. Summer was so late coming, I'm just not ready to say goodbye yet.
Oh and i discovered that you don't always have to peel the tomatoes. We cut out the green core and tossed the tomatoes into the blender before making the sauce. Couldn't even tell the difference.