JerzeeTomato


Mission Accomplished.
November 29, 2009, 8:08 am
Filed under: Garden

The turkey was succulent.  The sides were better.  Our own fare consisted of Brussels sprouts and herbs.

Some pics from T-day.



Countdown to the big day
November 23, 2009, 8:27 am
Filed under: Garden, Kitchen | Tags: , , ,

4 days and counting.  The long range forecast is not looking great for the frying of the bird.  We’ll keep you posted.

On the other hand, this year may be our most bounteous harvest yet for the holiday table.  In the past we’ve had little more than a few herbs to use for the big feast but this year we’ll be able to serve our own Brussels sprouts as well as lettuce if we went nuts and decided we needed to ruin our holiday meal with a salad.  There are also a few shallots poking their fronds up from the soil.

Alas, it doesn’t look like the beets I planted in late August are going to amount to anything.  Maybe enough for a garnish at best.  I’ll wait until Thursday to pull a couple and roast ’em up real fast if there are enough to make a side.

In preparation for the arrival of friends and family we gussied up the yard this weekend.  Mowed, fertilized, raked the remaining leaves.  This year we only threw out one bag of leaves, the rest went to the composting bin to be used over the course of the year.

Also, on Friday I stopped by our guys at NJ Grinding to get our knives sharpened for all the food prep we’ll be doing.



WWALW No.2
September 29, 2009, 3:34 pm
Filed under: Garden, Kitchen | Tags:

You can’t stop a winner. You can only hope to contain it. Last weekend we led off with the Mussels, white beans and pasta again. We just love this dish and it’s the perfect Friday night dish…not too much cooking and prep but enough to keep one occupied in the kitchen, whilst having an adult beverage and listening to WFUV.

Saturday we tried rib-eye bison steaks from the bison lady at the Montclair Farmer’s Market.  Just simply grilled.  They were OK but we’ve like the filets we’ve had in the past better.  Not really rich enough to be considered a rib-eye.

Sunday we crammed the cavity of a chicken full of herbs and a lemon and roasted it.  The Principessa made a wonderful ratatouille  AND a risotto with one of the butternuts from the garden.   Not our usual chicken and mashed which was nice for a change.



What we ate last weekend
September 15, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Garden, Kitchen, Tomatoes | Tags: ,

So, while this blog has devolved into a few really lame posts about tomatoes over the course of this  summer I keep thinking about our other aspect, that is, food.  While toiling over the grill this summer, I more than once though “I should share this dish with my loyal readers (well, both of them)”  But , I’ve often been reluctant since better than half of what we cook every weekend is whatever ideas Mark Bittman had.  So it always seemed somewhat derivative to just fluff  somebody else’s blog which is why I have resisted.  But for god’s sake, the recipes usually work.  As published.

But then I figured what the hell, I’m not doing anything else.  And besides, since the tomato season has ended a bit early (thank you cool and rainy summer) there’s not much else to write about so here goes with our initial “WWALW”

Firs off, I should point out that due to the crazy schedule I work, I rarely get the chance to do much cooking during the week.  Between driving to football practice, picking up at aftercare and whatever activities the Principessa has going on it’s usually a miracle if anything home cooked gets put on the table that’s not leftovers.  So the weekend is when we let hair down. So to speak.

This past weekend we kicked off with (‘natch) a Bittman recipefor mussels and pasta.  Whenever  Bittman posts something involving seafood be it in Bitten or The Minimalist (or both) there’s a good chance we’re going to cook it on Friday night.  Not that we’re religious fanatics or anything, it just works out that way.  Anyway, killer recipe, will do again.

Saturday was an Indian feast,  Jerzeetomato style.  Steve Raichlen’s “Tandoori Style Beer Can Chicken” but instead of beer we used some wine from the packing crate in the fridge.  The Principessa made raita, some wonderful cauliflower and a pilaf from Julie Sahni’s “Classic Indian Cooking” and we also did some chapatis on the grill from (you guessed it) Bittman.  Lots of work for this meal and lots of clean up, which prompted the Principessa to refer to it as “Fricking Indian Thanksgiving”

Sunday, keeping it simple since it was the kickoff for the NFL season and we wanted to spend quality time with the flat screen, we grilled bison steaks we got at the Montclair farmer’s market and made a version of  “Ass the Potatoes” from Mom’s first book. (someday we’ll share the  story of how that dish was named, but for now, buy the book)  Potatoes were fingerlings from the “organic guy” at the farmer’s market.

And one more Bittman on Monday.  We managed to crank out the Pork Skewers with Peanut Basil Sauce and had them with some leftover pilaf.  Good stuff and we realized that the peanut basil marinade/sauce would be good on just about any kind of skewer.  Or just eaten from the bowl with a spoon for that matter.



A Fungus Among Us
August 3, 2009, 1:53 am
Filed under: Garden, Tomatoes | Tags: ,

Some of you have asked if we’ve had any problems with the fungus that is affecting tomato growers up and down the east coast.  Well, it’s good news/bad news….While we haven’t had any evidence of the Late Blight that is grabbing the headlines, we’ve been battling our usual problem with Early Blight that always affects us during particularly wet summers.

Excuse me, I need to go fire up the sprayer.  Again.



First Supper
July 30, 2009, 6:14 am
Filed under: Garden, Kitchen, Tomatoes | Tags: ,

On Tuesday this week we had our first meal from our own tomatoes.   A simple pasta sauce made from about 10 Super Marzanos, a little onion, a little garlic, a little olive oil and a HUGE handful of basil.  Spectacular.  The meal used up all of our ripe tomatoes (except the cherries, we’re swimming in those) but we’re going to be able to eat the first slicers this weekend.  We’ll keep you posted.



Will it ever end?
July 2, 2009, 3:46 pm
Filed under: Garden, Tomatoes | Tags:

Rain, Rain…..you know the rest.  All this rain has seriously dampened even my motivation to write.  The second wettest June on record.  And it’s not doing the garden any good at this point.  We’re hoping for a better conditions on the 4th.

Some good news, though, we picked our first tomatoes this week.  As usual, they were a couple of Sweet 100’s.  But when I picked ’em I realized I hadn’t even posted this years line-up.  So, here it is:

Sweet 100’s

Chocolate Cherry

Gold Nugget (also a cherry)

Ramapo

Moreton

Costoluto Genovese

Cherokee Purple

Pineapple

Old German

Purple Russian

Brandywine

Old Italtian Plum

Super Marzano

 

For a total 25 plants.  At least initially.  We’ve already lost one of the Sweet 100’s.  It turned yellow from the base up in just over a week.  Weird.



duh!
May 21, 2009, 7:09 am
Filed under: Garden, Tomatoes | Tags: ,

I should have figured this out before.  The hundreds of seedlings that were coming up from the compost I added to the garden are TOMATOES!.  After my mother-in-law, M, pointed out that they couldn’t be carrots since carrots seed from the greens on their tops,  I let some of them get a little bigger.   Turns out every time I cored and seeded a tomato last summer and added to the composter, I was reseeding my ‘maters.



Back to the Earth
May 12, 2009, 6:04 pm
Filed under: Garden, Tomatoes | Tags: ,

So the dumb-asses folks at Gardener’s Supply couldn’t come through with the goods and plans for the new raised bed have been changed.  Back in the depths of winter we decided to build raised bed #3.  Since the Big Pine was taken down last year the very back of the yard gets a lot more light.  We figured we’d get another bed in back there to take the usual overabundance of seedlings that we usually don’t have room for. 

I called up to Burlington, VT, the home of GS to inquire about the status of the Raised Bed Corners I had ordered back on 4/29.  Originally back-ordered to 5/11, the date on the site had changed to 5/28.  Sure enough, when I called they confirmed the later date and went on with something like “oh, yeah, those are made here in Vermont and we can’t get them out any faster”.  To which I wanted to say “Well call over to Mason/Jay-Sun/LotDog at the metal press and tell him to put down the bong and put in some overtime, ‘cuz Phish tour hasn’t started yet”.

I wanted to say that.  But instead I just said “I’ve got tomatoes to plant, that won’t work. Please cancel my order”

So I’ll be tilling a hole in the ground and just planting in the dirt we’ve got.  Just like they did it in the old days.



Bonus Seeds
May 5, 2009, 6:25 am
Filed under: Garden, Kitchen | Tags:

Not really the type we were hoping for, though.  Every part of the raised beds where I’ve added compost from our composter has sprouted DOZENS of tiny weeds.  Obviously some seeds present in the scraps we’ve been composting.  They look like they might be carrot seedlings but do carrots have seeds in them?  I’ll have to research this.  Ther’re also a number of cucumber seedlings springing from the composted beds but since they’re large they’re easily removed.