Rock me mama like a wagon wheel
Apparently roasted tomato sauce is A Thing. A friend told me about it, and then I did some googling and found that pretty much every food blogger on the planet has a recipe for it. We have been lucky enough to be glutted with brandywine and cherry tomatoes so far this summer, and even with BLTs on the menu and Griff uncomplainingly consuming a dozen or more cherry maters a day, our windowsill has been filled with overripening red and orange and yellow fruits. Though I was dubious at the idea of making good sauce with salad tomatoes, I gave it a try.
In a 9×13 pan, 3.5 pounds of chopped brandywines and halved cherries, a sliced onion, several chopped garlic cloves and a half stick of butter (inspired by this blog post).
I baked it all at 350 for about an hour and a half, got impatient because I had a pan of focaccia that also needed a turn in the oven, turned the temp up to 400 and let it bake another 30 minutes. At that point, we had this. Completely soft, just barely starting to turn black at the edges, and most of the liquid gone.
Most of the recipes I had read warned that the sauce would be watery, but after putting the contents of the pan through the blender (along with a handful of fresh basil, oregano and rosemary) it was so thick that I had to add water. I combined it with some crumbled, cooked Italian sausage and was unable to resist adding a splash of half and half. Due to this addition and the fact that a good portion of the tomatoes were yellow, the sauce was a creamy orange color.
It was so. good. Really, really intense tomato flavor. The trip through the blender took care of the skins and seeds completely, and the sauce was smooth and creamy due to the butter and half and half.
We served it over wagon wheel pasta because, well, we have a three-year-old who is amused by such things. It was awesome.
I also finished my first pair of toe-up socks today, in some 2-ply worsted weight handspun that’s at least a year older than Griff. Wool socks are about the last thing I need this time of year, but I was happy to use up the stash yarn and I’m looking forward to wearing them in November. I’m on a mission to start using up some of my older handspun. Most of it’s in approximately 4oz batches, and socks seem like a logical choice for most of it since I like to ply on the tight side and there’s nothing better than handspun socks.
While I’m babbling incoherently after 2 glasses of wine at dinner, everyone should buy a 6-pack of half gallon canning jars and a pack of plastic lids. Although they are too big to be safely used for canning anything but juices, they are incredibly useful around the house. I bought them for making iced tea, but we are also using them for storing various stuff like demerara sugar (which we sometimes buy from bulk bins and then just dump into the jar) and Griff’s Trader Joe’s star cookies, which can be used to bribe him to do just about anything.
Also, they’re perfect for, say, chilling a custard ice cream base that has to be cooked and then cooled. And canning funnels work perfectly with them because they’re canning jars.
Lastly, here’s something I did to spice up Griff’s wading pool. We bought some sheets of craft foam and a Toobz of frogs and turtles at the craft store (yay 50% off coupon). I cut out lily pads and voila, instant pond. (I got this idea from a craft blog but can’t remember where.)
I leave you with this thought: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.
Also, stay thirsty, my friends.