No Green Thumb Here

20200805_164809Home has taken on a different spin lately for us.  I’ve been able to officially run our home.  Floors are swept, laundry is done, meals are prepped and cooked, and dinner is almost always on the table when my husband walks in from his workday.  We even planted a little garden again this year with a tomato plant, basil, rosemary, bell peppers, and jalapenos.  I truly feel pride in all of these things, but the most pride is felt with the home cooked dinners using items from our little garden.

A slow cook – I think if you look that up in the dictionary, that’s me.  I enjoy all of the prep work, so I am constantly doing everything without gadgets and gizmos.  Photos are often being taken.  Processes are constantly thought out.  Everything is constantly tasted for the right flavor balance.  I may never make it in an actual commercial kitchen, but I can make it just fine for our little family in our own kitchen, using fresh ingredients.

A slow cook with a green thumb – If you look that one up, that’s NOT me.  Our garden is well loved, but not as plentiful as we expected.  Here’s how they have all played out so far –

  • Jalapeno plant got some sort of bugs or slugs on it, and it pretty much started producing peppers with holes in them.
  • Bell Peppers, three of them, have a singular pepper on just one of the plants.  It will grow to something, but we certainly expected more.  I mean, there are THREE plants.
  • Tomato plant – it yielded three tomatoes for us.  I didn’t want to waste them, so we ate them by themselves.  They were delicious, and it made us sad there weren’t more.  There are plenty of blooms still, so maybe there will be more?
  • Basil is doing well.  I’ve reached out to a few of you for tips on growing Basil, and they are all working!  Thank you!
  • Rosemary is kind of small for what I’m used to from the past, but we don’t use it that often anyway.  It’s about 9″ tall and 9″ wide.  I certainly expected a larger bush by now.

20200804_155611Lucky for us, my Dad is an ACE at growing tomatoes!!!  I was so happy when they wanted us to help them consume their surplus the other day.  He has about 10 plants with two different varieties.  He said he’s having the best luck out of the German Johnson variety this year, but we don’t care what it is…they all taste great to us!  They have made a great tomato sauce and been a nice addition to some fresh pasta salad!  We’re thankful for them and him.  “Please sir.  I want some more.”  Anyone else read that in an adorably cute British accent?

While I would love to give you a recipe for sauce, I feel like you can be in a flavor box, or you can live outside that box and experience all the different flavors.  That certainly applies to sauces.  Everyone likes something different.  Some like it hot (great movie, by the way), some like it on the sweeter side, some like it super tomatoey, some like it light, and some like it thick.  However you like your sauces, do what makes you happy in the kitchen.

For a little guidance – I’ve been doing simple crushed tomatoes, a little tomato paste, sauteed mushrooms and onions, oregano, fresh garlic, and fresh basil from our garden.  We always add ground beef, and we always finish cooking our pasta in the sauce with a little pasta water added in.  Sometimes I even like to add a little cayenne pepper to it.  Make it your own, and make some focaccia bread while you’re at it for a side.  Enjoy!

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