Thursday, September 8, 2011

Toasty and Roasty

Yes, thanks for asking, it HAS been hot (for us) up here. We did touch 90 briefly this afternoon, but the Willamette Valley and even up into Portland has been in the mid 90's all week. I knew that at some point, we'd have to make up for all those months below average and it looks like this is the make up time. The good news - the tomatoes, corn and peppers are absolutely loving life right now. So much so that I can barely keep up with the tomatoes. First salsa, and today, smoked and roasted on the MAK grill and popped in the freezer for future use. I envision a bright, cold, winter's late afternoon, some homemade sourdough rounds hot out of the oven filled with a roasted tomato soup or maybe a fine chili made with ranch-raised beef and roasted tomatoes. Maybe a nice beef stew with some hearty Pinot Noir and roasted tomatoes added for maximum flavour. Any way they end up being used, it's a bit of summer to remind us of why we tolerate the winters up here - for the generous bounty of summer veggies that we squirrel away for later.

I think I'll can the next batch. I see some fine pasta sauce coming out of the jars that I will put up this summer. Especially once the 'Brandywine' start ripening. Thus far, I've harvested 23 pounds of tomatoes, all 'Costoluto Genovese' heirlooms except the one lone 'Brandywine' that surprised me yesterday. But there is still a lot of 'Genovese' on the vine and the 'Brandywine' is simply loaded. And I haven't started taking off the newest blooms yet, as I have hope that we might have a long enough season to ripen a lot more.

10 pounds of garden fresh, organically grown heirloom tomatoes ready for their boiling water bath (to make it easier to peel them for roasting)

Peeled, cored, sliced and ready to go on the MAK grill to be smoked and roasted. The lighter bits are a few 'Sweet Pickle' peppers I threw in for flavour

The end product, cooling before going into the freezer bag. Eaten right off the pan, they are unbelievably sweet with flavour that would make a tomato lover out of even someone like me who hasn't ever been a big fan

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