Friday, September 12, 2014

attack of the many tomatoes

It turns out that the dangerous part of visiting B's sister's house nowadays is the impossibility of leaving without being weighed down with a bag of gift tomatoes. There are tomato plants there now, which produce more than can be consumed locally.

Sister's husband likes to munch on them raw, but I don't like them that way, and B is allergic to the raw. There was nothing for me to do but to learn how to make marinara sauce. I downloaded about 5 divergent recipes, choosing the parts I liked best - 20-minute cooking time, not 90 minute; 7 cloves of garlic, not 2 - but basically it was simple. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil, add the tomatoes and a little wine and whatever herbs you like, and it's done.

What was interesting to me was learning how to peel the tomatoes. First you cut out the stems with a knife - some recipes say to do this afterwards, but they're wrong - and make a little notch in the base with the same implement. Then you give the tomatoes a quick sauna: 30 seconds in boiling water, scoop them out and dump them for a minute in ice water, and the skins slip right off. I wonder if this would work for humans.

I found an odd-appearing implement in the miscellaneous kitchen-tools drawer - it resembled a realization of something from a wiring diagram - that looked as if it might do for crushing the peeled tomatoes, at which it worked splendidly. I learned from B later that it was in fact a potato masher, something I've never had any use for.

There was a bit more sauce than I needed for my regular baked ravioli dish, so two days later I turned the remainder into ketchup (add a little vinegar and maltodextrin, heat and let reduce slightly) and used it as glaze on my newfound turkey meatloaf recipe.

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