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Just a simple gal living on the outskirts of Portland making ends meet. I have lived in Portland for over 20 years and I am happy to call it home. On this blog you will find everything from cooking to my crazy life. I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Little Green Tomatoes

Gardening for me is hit or miss and usually it is a miss. I just don't have time or energy to plow under the remaining bit of my backyard and turn it into my own vegetable patch. What I did manage was to grow a couple of tomato plants and some fresh herbs, thanks to the bf who put in some really great planter boxes just for that purpose. He built me a super sized one in the back yard just for tomatoes. We filled it with fresh dirt and some mushroom compost (I love that stuff)and stuck in a couple of new varieties of tomato plants and BAM! these things are insane. I at first thought maybe these plants were going to prove to be a waste of my time...I couldn't have been further from the truth. Once they took off they really took off. We have placed stakes outside the box to hold up the stalks, branches and tomatoes as they get bigger every single day; and so many tomatoes. I think I must have close to 20 lbs of green tomatoes. The scary thing...I have not used one speck of fertilizer this year. Like I said gardening with me is hit or miss, and I usually miss by a mile. I don't know what I did right this year, but I did it well.
I am also growing some herbs this year in a ground level planter box that the bf put together for me in the front yard. I managed to start basil from seed this year and it took off. Both Thai basil and regular basil. So I go out every couple of days and snip some off and what I don't use in a meal I dry and jar for the winter months ahead. Scary to think that they are closer than we would like.
Just in this past week I have had to rearrange the stakes holding the tomato plants to catch up the branches that are heading toward the ground. I am getting desperate, and the tomatoes just keep coming.
I am looking forward to being able to gather up a bunch of juicy tomatoes and turn them into a lovely homemade base tomato sauce...a big pot of it, so I can put it all in quart bags and freeze it flat. My recipe is really simple. Saute up some diced onions and minced garlic (and diced carrot if that is your thing) in a heavy pan (big pan) until soft add all your chopped up tomato, fresh basil, rosemary, salt, sugar (trust me on this) and oregano. and simmer add a little chicken stock, red wine or both and simmer some more. Let it cool and measure it out into quart freezer bags and zip em shut! Lay the bags flat onto a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze solid. Later remove from cookie sheet and stack someplace in your freezer and TaDaaa (should be a word) you have the base of some delicious sauce in your freezer...perfect for those nights when you don't feel like cooking after dealing with impossible people in the mid west all week long at work...Oh wait that might just be me. Trust me this is just the ticked for great sauce for pasta or added oomph to your chili.
Now if they would just ripen.
Puppy Update Katsu is growing at a crazy rate, and is twice the size of two of his siblings from the same litter. This I am told can be explained by the size of the litter (there were 8) and his placement in the birthing order (which is unknown). Katsu is currently loosing baby teeth everywhere...the other night during puppy obedience class for example...blood everywhere, dog owners checking to see if my puppy had maimed their puppy during free play, the trainer, the bf and of course Katsu had blood all over his mouth. Ahhh my little Chupacabra strikes again. It is funny Katsu's brother is in the class with him and they don't get along well (work in progress), but the minute one thinks the other might need help they have each others back...Pack mentality at its finest. Because Katsu has been growing visibly daily he seems to always be hungry, but it is too hot to eat, so he won't, which gives him a sour stomach and for a while he was barfing up stomach acid in the middle of the night onto my bed...not pretty. With help from the vet we figured out a program of feedings that include a small amount of wet food before bed with a pepcid crushed and mixed in...worked like a charm.
Well I need to get myself organized to start my day (code for I need more coffee). I have salmon to turn into lovely smoked salmon tomorrow, so look for a blog on that. Have a great weekend everyone!

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