Oct 19, 2010

What's for Dinner?

In the south, gardens flourish early. They thrive in the deep, moist heat. In Colorado, things evolve a bit more slowly. I planted tomato plants for my classroom last spring and they were loved almost to death. I'm not going to be the one to tell an enthusiastic 4 yr. old 'gardener' that the plants don't actually need water because they have already been watered 16 times this morning. If they want to tote that darling little watering can around the classroom and soak every seedling 88 times a day, then so be it. There are plenty of No's for other things. Our seedlings flourished in their sunny windows and it got a little jungle-ish.(we created a very humid climate!) We never got them into the garden because of lots of late frost and at the end of the year I reluctantly brought them home. We left for Georgia the next day for several weeks and these plants sat without water for the duration. But they must have had reserves like a camel....

Long story short. I put them in the ground and then neglected them again. I didn't have much faith and I had worked these poor guys to death already. They had other plans.

Della and I are now dealing with more tomatoes than we know what to do with. Della also harvested a huge basket at Granne and Grandaddys. (My mother in law has her tomatoes in a 5 star hotel....a delightful little hot house with a heater!)

I never tend to eat my sun dried tomatoes, so I thought I would share my surplus tomato solution. It's simple and I pack it up in little baggies like pesto and freeze it. It makes a wonderful sauce for pasta and you can add feta and  bacon to it for a very rich and decadent meal.

Remember that my recipes are very general and can be modified to fit your needs!

Throw all your tomatoes in a large pyrex or baking dish. If they are large, cut them up, if they are cherries just throw them in. Pour a cup or so of olive oil over them. Enough that they are swimming in it. Salt and pepper generously and add lots fresh garlic in whole cloves. I probably add at least a head.

That's it, basically. You can slow roast these on 200 for many hours or speed it up at 300 for an hour or so. Near the end, we add handfuls of fresh basil and goat feta, if we are eating it right away. Toss with pasta and savor!

If you are putting it up, then let it cool and put in individual containers and freeze.

That's what's for dinner around here.

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