February 26, 2009

Cooking up something new

I want to share 2 - okay, 3 - very exciting things with you today. You're going to be seeing me around here more frequently for the rest of the school year, as writing on Sprout has become a bi-weekly assignment for my Web Development course. Poor me, right? Having to write about the thing that I love.... woe is me.

The first part of my news is the main project for the Web Development course. It's to design a Web site in which I will use for promoting my food-related writing, photography, design work to editors and potential employers - an online resume, if you will. You can see the main page below.

Exciting news No. 2 - I sold a few photos to a magazine for the first time! Yes, I actually got paid. I had to make an invoice, and all. Thanks be to Google Images for giving me an idea of what they should look like. This followed receiving a $300 check for a feature story I wrote about - food! My knees went a little weak with this one. It's a strange thing, you know, to start getting paid to do the things that you love, and that you've been doing for free forever. It almost doesn't feel right. All I can do is be thankful. And I am. Here's a teaser of a story I just sold:

And I can't leave without giving you something tasty and delicious to read, look at, and potentially cook. I recently came across nearly 10 bags of preserved heirloom tomatoes (in the form of chunked tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato puree) in my freezer, from when I put-up some tomatoes from the farm. The particular bag that I pulled out last night was the Roasted Tomato Sauce which brought me back to the particular night I made it at at the Common House at the farm. The thick of tomato season usually lands during the thick of August heat. Tomatoes absolutely love desert-like conditions. Anyways, I was roasting the tomatoes in the oven, sauteing onions and garlic on the stove, and chopping up basil - all the while the temperature in the valley was dropping, as it usually did. It was so hot in the kitchen from the sauce-making that it made the windows steam and I had a concerned neighbor come in to make sure everything was ok! Oh what a night.

As a taste of summer during these glum winter months can't do any harm, I've decided to leave you with this tomato sauce recipe - hoping it will bring back summer memories of your own. (Who doesn't have a tomato-related memory, really?) Come next August and you have a hankering to make some fresh tomato sauce, come back here for a visit. Please do yourself a favor and do not use the baseball-like tomatoes coming in from California this time of year ... stash this one away for better tomato-days.

Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce
from Featherstone Farm Cookbook (the farm where I worked!)

8 large tomatoes (about 3.5 lbs)
salt and pepper
olive oil
onions, quartered
garlic cloves
green bell pepper, cut into wedges
fresh herbs (such as basil, oregano, parsley)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the tomatoes
in half (in quarters if they are very large) and core
them. Place them in a 9x13-inch baking pan in a
single layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and olive
oil. Roast them in the oven for 30 minutes. Add
the quartered onion, several garlic cloves, and if
you like, green bell pepper wedges to the tomatoes.
Drizzle again with oil and roast for another 30
minutes. When the tomatoes are done, chop the
fresh herbs in a food processor or blender. Add the
tomato mixture and blend to a chunky consistency.
This sauce is now ready to eat or freeze.

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