Jar of Tomato-Apricot Chutney

How To Be Your Own Worst Enemy

Who me? All it takes is a visit to Trout Lake Farmer’s Market on a lovely Saturday morning in July/August and we are now loaded us down with pounds of plum tomatoes among other goodies. I’ve been saying, over the past few months, or rather my husband has been banging on about how I need to simplify the amount of cooking I’m doing and stop trying to do so much. You know Phyllis, keep it simple. Read…you’re not 40 years old anymore! Back to those tomatoes and cutting back on my work load!

And then there’s my friend, Judy Witts Francini who insists on posting photos of what she’s making in her kitchen in Certaldo and there I am adding things to my market list because I love what she made or she’s reminded me of something I had planned to make but forgotten about!

But how can I resist? Seriously challenging right? Resting quietly in the freezer as we speak, are several containers of one of my favourite summer pasta sauces, fragrant tomato sage.  Because, don’t you know it, my sage is huge and I’ve got a lot of plum tomatoes!  A very good thing…all I have to do is make homemade spaghetti when I decide to thaw a container for dinner! Then there’s the tomato-apricot-ginger chutney (wonderful.) You simply must make it!   And what the heck, may as well roast up a pan of tomatoes too. Don’t you just love roasted tomatoes?

Did I mention that I have arm loads of the basil in the front garden waiting for me? We know what that means, right: pesto, basil butter, basil/EVO cubes for the freezer for a hit of basil to be added to something on a crummy day in the winter. Or that one of the vendors I buy from has local eggplant available…so guess what’s for dinner…eggplant timbalo! At least there were only 4 of them to prepare and luckily I had containers of  sauce in the freezer at the ready!

Oh and let’s not forget dill pickle Sunday last week!  Aah…the smell of dill weed!  At least I can feel relieved that I no longer make hundreds of jars of jams, relishes and chutney’s! I kind of miss seeing all those jars of jewelled toned goodies though.

Good thing this year our little apple tree took a break or it would be applesauce time before long! The saving grace is I’m not like Italians who are canning tomatoes and making passata during the hottest months of the year…whew…they must have a crew of paramedics waiting to take care of the fallen.

And then the fall veggies begin appearing…can you say pickled red cabbage? I’m trying, Joe…I really am trying but you can see the problem!



    • So hard to do! I tend to end up in the kitchen without even thinking about it! Need to spend more time writing and getting out more!

  1. Nice to hear from you Phyllis!
    So true, so hard….
    I’m trying to focus on tried and true rather than new experiments that might languish in the back of the canning section. Can never have enough tomato sauce in the freezer though! ….although I’ll stick with my old Umberto’s taught-by-a-nonna fellow chef recipe of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and basil (maybe a pinch of chilis), just cooked and still liquidy enough to take another reduction on reheat.. Basta!
    Next up is Italian Plum jam.

    • And Christopher, my friend, so happy to hear from you! I agree with you about the tomato, olive oil, garlic & basil sauce…peperoncino a must! It’s my standard go to (Marinara). But I got hooked into this sauce a number of years ago (too many to mention) and as I grow my own sage…well there you are. How are things going with you? You could have knocked me over with a feather when I went to Batard a month ago and asked if you were there, as we had been away since the middle of April and had yet to see you. WOW…I was stunned…think I sat with my mouth hanging open for quite some time! And then when I came home and told Joe…well… basically the same reaction. So delighted to hear from you…please keep in touch! Updates would be nice. And a jar of that jam!!!

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