Kitchen Frenzy and a Soup Recipe

I got home from an all day meeting today about 4:30.  I headed right to the kitchen.  Last night I was going to make a tomato corn chowder.  Then I got working and didn’t stop until way too late.  So I planned to make it tonight.  And I did.  It meant I had to get cracking.  And I did.  It was, how to say this, tasty as all [insert expletive here].

I tried to find a recipe but just couldn’t scrounge one up.  That was probably for the better.  It would have taken me longer to keep referring to a book and then half forgetting what I just read as I chopped garlic.  Here is what I did:

  • Sauteed three small leeks in about a tablespoon of butter and a splash of olive oil in a large pot and then set that aside
  • Cut up two medium size carrots (small cubes), a couple pounds of red potatoes (cubed), two sweet peppers (diced) and sauteed all that in the large pot in about a tablespoon of butter and a splash of olive oil
  • Added four cups of water and two teaspoons of salt to the pot and brought that to a boil
  • Removed the pot and then removed a couple cups of the potatoes to keep them in chunks, then pureed the rest in a food processor
  • Tossed three small tomatoes (OK I used the one weird large tomato I picked yesterday that looked like three small tomatoes attached at the hip), diced, along with four cups of corn I had removed from the cob (already cooked) into the pot.
  • Heated the tomatoes and corn gently for about ten minutes, then added the chunks of potatoes and the puree
  • Added a teaspoon each of chopped fresh oregano, chives and thyme
  • Added a cup of whole milk
  • Topped with freshly grated black pepper, heated for another 10-15 minutes (stirring to keep it from sticking to the bottom)
  • Ate it up

The children chowed it, even my son, who has been pretty picky lately.  I have to admit, and my wife said this aloud, it was worth the hour spent preparing.  The vegetables and herbs were all from our garden or from our CSA.  Even the milk was local.

Item two was making the base for coffee ice cream.  I whipped that up while the soup heated and stuck it in the fridge.

Then I went out with the kids and picked basil.  We have more basil than I can handle.  This is first year that the basil has really just grown.  I clipped it pretty well not long ago and it really grew back well.  I cut 12 cups of the stuff with my eager children who lost interest when they decided to mow the lawn with their scissors.  They didn’t get all that far on that project.

I made three batches of pesto (it is supposed to get pretty cold the next couple of nights–basil doesn’t like cold), froze two and popped the other in the fridge.  By now the children were off to bed with their mother, and I tried not to make too much noise with the food processor.  They did fall asleep eventually, even after the delivery truck woke them up.  Late delivery.

I just polished off the small bowl of ice cream from the batch I made after the basil was stored away.  I probably shouldn’t have coffee ice cream this late–it is made with coffee after all, which people drink to stay awake.  But I had to try some.  What kind of cook would I be if I didn’t taste what I made?  Plus, I didn’t have that much.

I waited to eat the ice cream after I had cleaned up everything (except the ice cream maker bucket–that thing was way too cold to wash).  Cleaning too far too long.  I was ready to be done when the counter was still covered with dishes.  My wife still is healing from her sliced finger, otherwise I am sure she would have offered to do all the cleaning.  I cook, I clean, I eat.  All after a day at work.  Not bad, eh?

Tomato Update

A bit ago I posted about transplanting tomato plants from small to large pots.  One of them in particular was not doing well.  It sagged.  It hung low.  It looked poorly.  I thought it would kick it.  But check this out:

 

Limp No Longer

Limp No Longer

The plant on the left is the same one that was all droopy before.  A little water, a little sun and bam!  Healthy(ish) plant.

I still am not ready quite yet to pop them in the ground.  Rain showers are forecast for the next four days.  And it is cool.  These puppies like it hot.  Some time this week, hopefully, I will start exposing them to the outside air.  They need to get some experience before they get to the work of growing tomatoes.

I am hopeful that we will get some fruit off these bad boys.  If only it didn’t take so long.  I suppose, however, that that is part of the joy of it–watching fruit burst from a tiny seed.  So I can be patient, even though I can almost taste what will come.  A juicy red slice on a hot summer day?  Now we’re talking.

Limp Tomatoes

 

Just Resting?

Just Resting?

I decided I needed to take some action and transplant our tomato plants.  I thought I might be able to get away with planting once and just popping them into the garden.  But they got too tall and leggy.  They were drooping over from their own height, so I had to move them to deeper soil.  I gave it a shot this afternoon.

I think they won’t all make it.  I have had trouble transplanting tomatoes in the past.  They grow so well in the foam cell jobbers and then hate it when I make them grow up and move out.  I think at least one will make it, probably two.  But two of the four I moved are questionable.  I left another three where they were.  I ran out of time.

They may wake up in the morning.  I tried to be gentle.  I tried to make sure they got just the right amount of water.  I used quality dirt.  But my thumb is, clearly, not as green as it might be.  It was pretty brown after I finished digging.

Here’s hoping that by morning the soggy stems will have perked up.  I would hate to lose future tomatoes.  I am afraid, however, that that may be the case.  Not to be pessimistic, but seriously, one of those puppies looks ill.  I hope it gets well.