Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm just about sick of tomatoes

I can't quite believe I just wrote that. Vine-ripened, fresh tomatoes are fabulous and wonderful and a real treat. I won't even buy a fresh tomato from the grocery store, that's how much of a tomato snob I am.

But after eating and processing about 90 pounds of tomatoes in the last two months, I'm tired of dealing with them.

The latest tomato product is dried. The fruits are smaller and smaller as the summer drags on, and small tomatoes are perfect for drying. I cut off the stem end, halve them lengthwise and zip out the seeds with a fingertip. Arrange them skin side down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and let them dry overnight in a 160°-ish oven.

I found a method for further preserving them in oil. I now have two four-once jars and one eight-ounce jar of canned-in-olive-oil dried tomatoes, and three ounces of dried tomatoes which I will simply bag and freeze.

And since I had the canner going anyway, I went ahead and made four pints of dill spears with my paltry cucumber harvest.

Yesterday was an on-my-feet, in-the-kitchen day, from morning 'til evening. (I totally vegged with my knitting in front of the television last night.) I made:

  • Tomato confit
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Dill spears
  • Pizza dough and, for dinner, pizza

The kitchen was a wreck, the dishwasher is jammed full (and needs to be unloaded) and I was one tired puppy at the end of the day. Thus the major TV time.

We watched a documentary about sixties folksinger Phil Ochs, who committed suicide when he was just 35. (It's a new addition to Netflix.) Thirty years later, as his daughter points out in the film, we (society) are still dealing with the issues Ochs sang about and fought for.

We then watched part of a movie about Ken Hechler, a former West Virginia Congressman. (I could only find it on YouTube.) My husband met him once, back in the day, and said he was quite a colorful character in West Virginia's history. I became interested when I saw a billboard with his picture on it, along with the message that he's fighting to stop mountaintop removal. (Most of the billboards having to do with coal around here are in support of the coal industry. There's one with a map of WV and the surrounding states with the message "Obama's NO-job Zone," blaming the EPA for the loss of coal jobs.)

Coal is a complicated subject here in the Mountain State. The bottom line for me, however, is that those making money from coal are not the workers. They're making a living, but the coal operators/owners are the ones making huge profits at the expense of the environment and worker safety. There must be a better way. And nonagenarian Hechler agrees.

I wrapped up my couch night with a peek at MTV's VMA Awards, tuning in just in time to see Lady GaGa (in drag, looking very much like Fonzie) receive the Best Female Video award. (Not sure if Phil Ochs to Lady GaGa is the ridiculous to the sublime or vice versa.) Yay! She also received the first-ever award for Best Video with a Message.

'Cause you were born this way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Geez, I wish I had tomatoes to be tired of! Bad grammar; but we hardly had enough to write about. Cukes, though, we got a bunch!