"Things won are done,
Joy's Soul lies in the Doing."
- William Shakespeare

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It isn't over yet

This week has been a real kick up the backside, as far as reality checks are concerned.  Those long awaited high temperatures have now dropped by at least twenty degrees.  The heat has been begrudgingly turned on.  The fire is lit in the evening.  But only if we see shivers and goosebumps.  (Put a sweater on, kiddo!  You think heat is free?)  Knitting has begun in earnest, because, after all, Christmas is only three months away.  (Oh, dirty words.)  I've been reluctantly packing up the summer clothes and sandals (sigh), and replacing them with sweaters and shoes.  And I so despise wearing shoes.  I realize this is rather unnatural in one of the oh, um, fairer sex (ha!), but I'd rather be barefoot any day. 

Even as we see all these shifts in our day to day, though, we're still enjoying the fruits of summer.  Because it isn't over yet, people.  Six more days of summer to go, and a whole bloody lot of tomatoes.

Twenty pounds of tomatoes, to be exact.

I do believe my Laura Ingalls complex has gotten entirely out of hand.  You know that thing I do...where I see that my 7 lbs of tomatoes I'm buying for tomato relish, costs nearly as much as a twenty pound box.  So, of course, being ever so economical,  I go for the big box.  

Then, on the drive home, several things hit me.  And I'm talking a serious walloping over the head, cartoon lady with the cast iron frying pan-style.  

Thing #1:  Twenty pounds of tomatoes is really quite a lot of freaking tomatoes.  Especially when I've never canned anything but tomato relish.  Oh balls.

Thing #2:  I've never canned anything but tomato relish.  Oh bollocks.

Thing #3:  I definitely do not have enough lids to can twenty pounds of tomatoes.  Oh crap.

Thing #4:  Not enough jars either.  Oh shit.

So, I said to myself:  Hey, lady, get your Laura on.  If the pioneers could do it with no electricity, or fancy gadgets, you can surely work this out.  And my Laura felt up to the challenge.  Mostly.  Inspired by this SouleMama post on tomatoes, I figured I'd knock out some passata and tomato soup, and use up all those gorgeous (cursed) tomatoes.  Easy-bloody-peasy, right?


It started out so well, too.

Looks promising, doesn't it?

Turns out, trying to make passata without a food mill, is probably the stupidest move that can be made.  Pressing out all those roasted tomatoes through a fine sieve, let's face it, sucks.  It's the suckiest suck that ever sucked, really.  And it made exactly this much:

Three freaking cups.

Three cups of deliciousness.  But still.  When the Mister looked at the results of my heaving, groaning effort, he said:  "Well, that's a lot of work for not very much return."  No.  Freaking.  Kidding.

It looks like my Laura...that feisty, hard-working gem of a pioneer...well, my Laura...before tackling her daily chores, and canning, just so happened to down a crazy pill with a jug of Mr. Edwards' moonshine.  That's why she's acting all crazy...and making me all crazy, in turn.  Not my fault, you see.

So, because today's passata was a giant Cluster-****-Extraordinaire, I will not be punishing you with that recipe.  I will, however, throw an easy one your way, for celery salt.  I used it on my roasting tomatoes, but you can put it on anything.

Like a Bloody Mary.  Which is what I'm really wishing these tomatoes would turn into, right about now.

Celery Salt & Pepper

1 tsp celery seeds
3 tsp sea salt, large crystals
3/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Put everything into a mortar and bash it about with the pestle until it's all a fine, even consistency.

Well, at least we didn't screw that up.  I do believe Ma and Pa are ashamed of my Laura.  May never forgive her, in fact.

Unless...tomorrow's tomato relish may just change their minds about me.  Barring any unforeseen moonshine, that is.


  1. Looks delicious! You know I have around a hundred canning jars and lids! Please use them...Love, Mom

  2. I thought of that, Mom...unfortunately, it was after all the hoohah I describe above. One of these days I may just get around to planning things ahead of time. Perhaps.