September 21, 2010


Fall weekends are my favorite. Especially because the concept of having a weekend off is not really part of my world. I just don't have them. We spent this past weekend in a whirlwind of activities.

Friday night:

We went for our usual walk for ice cream and it was a little disappointing. I always get the same thing. Peanut butter soft serve on a cone. Only this time it was super thick and not as pb-ish. Better luck next time, I guess! I did make a yummy Unfussy Apple Cake from 101 Cookbooks and almost gave myself frostbite. I used some apples that we had frozen and cutting them was cold. We didn't do double desserts, I made is as a breakfast bread. Yes, I know I'm only kidding myself. But it's no worse for us than most breakfast breads. It's much better than donuts and almost gone!


Habitat for Humanity had a work day and we went to help out along with 2 other people from our church. It was a chilly morning so I ended up with paint on my zip-up shirt, but it was otherwise successful, if a bit unorganized.

In the evening we went on a murder mystery dinner cruise on the Pride of the Susquehanna. We got there early so we took a walk across the pedestrian bridge. It was a gorgeous evening and the views were amazing. There was a little mixup with my dinner but I ended up with plenty of food!

Two salads, red-skin mashed potatoes, possible the best cooked carrots I ever had, and Death by Chocolate Cake for dessert. It was massive.


The usual church routine...Walter got Dumbo the elephant in the mascot exchange. What a lucky man! He was loaded down with Coke and Hershey bars, so we may have to take him to the dentist this week.
We went for a short walk and got some chewed up cantaloupes out of my parents' garden. After I shooed off the bugs and cut out the nasty parts, they were delicious and juicy.

I spent most of the afternoon baking bread and chocolate chip cookies and making fresh tomato sauce. Everything went so smoothly, something was bound to go wrong. I was adding the garlic to the sauce pot to saute before adding the tomatoes and then I dropped the garlic. I buy the jars of minced garlic. It's one of my kitchen weaknesses. Sometimes I do use the real cloves but most it just annoys me to chop them. So if it's non-essential to use fresh, I use the jarred kind. Shameful. Anyway...the whole jar just slipped right out of my hand and exploded, covering the floor, the wall, the door, the doormat, the counter. All surfaces. But my tomatoes were boiling so that I could peel them and I couldn't stop to clean up. So there it sat, stinking up the kitchen for over an hour. Mmmm...  The sauce was delicious, though! 

Fresh Tomato Sauce
from Mom, with slight variations
3 pounds tomatoes or as many tomatoes as you have (some of mine were partially green but I added those parts, too)
4 cloves minced garlic
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1-2 T Italian seasoning
brown sugar to taste (I used 2 tsp.)

Boil the whole tomatoes briefly and dunk in ice cold water. Peel and dice cooled tomatoes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and add garlic. Stir occasionally, cooking about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes as you finish chopping. Cook at a low boil until sauce begins to thicken, about 2 hours. Add salt and seasonings. Simmer until it has reached a thick consistency. If you prefer runnier sauce, cook a shorter amount of time. Taste sauce and if it is slightly bitter, add brown sugar as needed. Serve with pasta!


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