Training to Live

living and learning, one day at a time

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celebrating life!

yesterday we attended the funeral of a 24 year old young woman. heart heavy sadness. as with funerals (and weddings), it brought a lot of family together, and i did have the chance to meet many wonderful people from jon’s side. if only the circumstances were lighter… it was a nice service, anyway, and though i never had the chance to meet melanie during her all-too-short life, it seemed to do her spirit right. many happy memories were shared.

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jon’s parents sent us home with a trunkload of farm goods: a big bag of yellow and green beans, a sack of new potatoes, beets, zukes, a jar of blueberries and a big basket of red tomatoes. my own little garden patch is bountiful (even a little out of control) with tomatoes, peppers and varied herbs (basil, mostly). i decided that a big pot of pasta sauce would be a delicious way to use up many of the tomatoes and some other vegetables and be a great excuse to try out my newest toy: (whilst at the same time, crossing one thing off of my mighty life list, which i know, i haven’t quite posted my own yet. it’s coming)

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the pasta express! it has 12 different attachments for all kinds of different shapes to extrude. it even does pretzels, bagels, and extrusion cookies!

jon’s sister was cleaning up her house last weekend and getting rid of unnecessary clutter. for some reason, this lovely pasta maker fell into that category for her. i happily took it off her hands, since i’ve been wanting to make pasta myself for ages now AND it’s an easy item on the list to cross off! hooray for fun, new (free!) appliances.

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making pasta sauce from scratch is fun, but it can get pretty messy! i basically used this recipe.

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first you have to score the tomatoes, so they are easier to peel. i used a mix of romas from my garden, littlish rounds (also from my garden) and the big rounds from the farm. although my plants originally came from the farm, the tomatoes that stayed seem to have grown much bigger!

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blanch for a few seconds and dunk in ice water before peeling

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squeeze the seeds and goop out into the compost and squish the flesh

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onions are required. i don’t like them much, but they cooked long enough to not be noticable.

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basil from the yard along with a few cloves of garlique.

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cook down and add tomato

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add a bit of alcohol. wine is good, but i didn’t have any, so i went with a splash of fortified and then i simmered my sauce.

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we took a break to visit a nearby farmer’s market for some fruit.
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then it was pasta time!

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i sadly don’t seem to have any pictures of the plated meal. i guess we ate everything up too quickly! the pasta was delicious. it’s hard for me to say whether or not it is better than bought, since i am obviously biased, but jon seemed to really enjoy it a lot! there will be much more experimenting with this in the future. much more.

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this is part of our veggie patch (before we finished weeding!!!) taken back in may. tomorrow i will try to get a picture of it now so you can see just how crazy the situation is. i literally have tomatoes coming out of my ears, and those pepper and basil plants in the foreground have been engulfed. my vegetables are a great source of happiness in my life right now.

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bike race tomorrow and a 60th anniversary party!

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August 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm
26 comments »
  • August 8, 2010 at 9:23 amKirsten

    Is always so sad to hear about someone so young passing away.

    Your tomato sauce looked awesome by the way. I never have managed to make proper, homemade sauce! Think the blanching of the tomatoes scares me a bit!

    • August 9, 2010 at 6:39 amhaya

      blanching tomatoes is actually really easy! it’s kind of fun, even. a few years ago, i processed about 20lbs of tomatoes to make sauce to can. that was intense and my kitchen quickly turned into a red disaster, but just doing a few pounds for small batches of sauce is pretty simple.
      it’s quite awesome how nicely the peel comes off that way, especially if you’ve tried to peel tomatoes without blanching. (pain in the butt!)

      hey are you running the midsummer night race in 2 weeks?

  • August 9, 2010 at 7:53 amsarah (the SHU box)

    i get in on thurs! i would love to do a boat tour – thurs during day or friday?
    threadless sounds good too. actually we should hit a fun stationary store too if poss =D
    ohhhh and i’ve never hit up a lululemon :)

    email me or tweet me and we can make some plans!!

  • August 11, 2010 at 11:49 amErin

    So sorry to hear about your loss, Haya. And I agree, celebrating life is the way to respond positively in our own lives with this kind of loss. Tomato sauce = celebrating life! nicely done.

  • August 31, 2010 at 3:54 pmLeah Bean

    That garden patch looks awesome! Also – I am quite jealous that you have a pasta maker. I want one!

    • August 31, 2010 at 5:48 pmhaya

      i still have to go out and take a “now” picture so you can see how overgrown and out of control the tomatoes are! the plants are looking slightly worse for the wear from all the recent heat, but they are still producing well.

      the pasta maker is fun. i do wish it was just one of those simple hand crank presses rather than a ginormous machine, but it’ll do for now. i might do some lasagna soon.

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