This week’s haul from the CSA:
- Roma tomatoes
- Green beans
- Bell peppers & jalapeños
First up? A stir fry. I cook stir-fry’s all the time, but it always – always – tastes so much better with actual fresh veggies. I can’t help but notice, every time I bring in the goodies from the CSA pick-up, that the veggies are so oddly shaped. I wonder, are they so visually unappealing that the local grocery stores wouldn’t carry them?
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The tomatoes from the farm had been picked at such a perfect time that when I picked them out, they were already perfectly soft, so I needed to go ahead and use them quickly. Having just finished off several quart-sized freezer bags full of chopped tomatoes I’d frozen a while back, I was very eager to make some homemade pasta sauce from scratch. So I did.
We made tomato sauce in a similar way with the kids at cooking camp last week, but when I went to write it down for the cookbook we gave them at the end of the week, I couldn’t even bring myself to reveal my favorite, sorta-secret ingredients! So this sauce – one of my very favorite things in the world – has been on my mind a lot lately. Imagine my delight at seeing those ripe, delicious-looking Romas sitting in those crates!
Making my favorite sauce tonight must have also caused the whimsical feeling that made me decide not to just scoop the sauce onto some pasta on a plate. I found a covered ramekin somewhere in the dark recesses of my cabinets and made myself a mini baked pasta casserole, with rosemary-olive oil breadcrumbs (I made those, too) and Parmiggiano Reggiano.
The cuteness of this dish has made me all sentimental, so I’ll be spending the rest of the evening curled up with a bit more wine and a very sappy, (and also a favorite) movie, trying not to think about how soon I’ll be back at work …
Cooking dinner tonight seemed like a lost cause at one point earlier today. It started with my trip to the grocery store, during which I forgot (as I discovered later) a lot of the things I knew I needed. I really should take an Adderall or something before I walk into grocery stores.
Then, shortly after I’d gotten home and stored the seafood away in the fridge (normally, seafood on sale is cause for concern, but I could find nothing wrong with the tilapia and the shrimp that I found – score!!), the power went out. Actually, it was way more dramatic than that, and actually involved me getting quite frightened by the EXPLODING TRANSFORMER on the pole right outside my living room window. Anyway, not at all sure that I’d ever be able to actually cook and enjoy the tilapia I’d planned to cook tonight, I went out and did my twice-weekly stadium workout, hoping the power would be back by the time I came home.
Luckily, the power had come back on shortly before I got home, and so I was able to cook the tilapia as planned. I decided to re-try a citrus-spice marinade after last night’s mediocrity, and this time it worked out A LOT better (almost too spicy, but I’m not a great judge of that). The only problem was the fish being slightly undercooked, which I had feared as much as overcooking it since I decided to cook it the quick way by pan-searing instead of my usual baking/roasting. I also made some brown rice to help counteract the spiciness.
I’ve decided not to go in to school tomorrow – the start of the new school year is coming way too fast and I feel like I should take time where & whenever I can. So, my project for tomorrow is a homemade tomato sauce. I’m very excited, and trying to ignore the pressure of being expected to share – thanks, Mika!! 😉
I think I’m getting out of my culinary slump … right before I go back to working 8-10 hours a day. Boo. But still, I’ll take it!