Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something Is Rotten in the State of Maine (Snow) and Homemade Tomato Sauce

(Right) Rosa Bianca Eggplant, (Left) Tango Celery
For my Birthday yesterday (yep, April Fools baby), Mother Nature saw fit to give me six inches of snow. Luckily, my husband is a better gift giver so I came home to a clean house, walked dogs, dinner, and brownies. I barely know what to do with all the free time so I’ll update everyone on the seedlings. The only ones I’m waiting for are the strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and squash. I got the eggplant and celery to pop up using a heating pad to warm the soil. I may have to do the same with the squash. The poppies and sunflower seeds have germinated as well.
Italian White Heirloom Sunflowers
The lemon tree is brimming with blossoms, one of which has opened. If you’ve never smelled the blossoms of a lemon tree, you’re missing out. They have an amazingly sweet smell. Also, I received a plant mister for my birthday, which I used on the leaves; HHMS (Her Holiness Martha Stewart) suggests doing that, and I assume it’s to recreate the moist air of climates to which lemon trees are native.
Lemon Tree Blossom
As far as cooking goes, I made homemade tomato sauce in the crockpot last night so that I could make chicken parmesan sandwiches today. I’m going to give the sauce a B-. The recipe, which I took from The Italian Slow Cooker, doesn’t call for any garlic or oregano, so that should have been a tip off, but it’s definitely lacking in the spice department. It’s also a fair amount of work with all the peeling and de-seeding. This sauce would be good for a light, summery pasta dish, but I’m not liking it for chicken parm. It needs more depth. I’ll have to add some spices and olive oil before I put it on the chicken. Luckily, I bought fresh mozzarella; when a recipe doesn’t go quite as planned, smother the mistakes in cheese. I’ve never made homemade tomato sauce, but I’m trying to get away from overly processed foods, and it will be a good way to use all of the tomatoes I plan on growing this summer. I’ll have to try some of the other sauce recipes in the book. I also plan on making a polenta chicken lasagna this weekend, and I’ll give updates on how that and the chicken parm come out.
Sweet Tomato Sauce Ingredients from The Italian Slow Cooker

1 comment:

  1. The parm was so-so. I could have cut the cooking time down by about half an hour. The sauce was a little better the next day.