Early Fall Bounty

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I am back from a weekend with the girls.  It was fun to meet new people and share stories.  We had lots of laughs, a little dancing and too much food.  There was also a fair bit of pampering, in the form of pedicures and massages.  It was the perfect weekend for a girls retreat because it was pouring rain and stormy all weekend.  That did not stop a couple of us from jumping in the lake  or getting out for a walk though.

While most of the girls were getting spa services I slipped on my gumboots and gortex coat and escaped to the woods.  I couldn’t help myself because when I went for a walk I spotted some Chanterelles on the driveway.  I took a friend who had never been mushroom picking and we had a fabulous time hunting under the ferns, Oregon Grape and stepping over logs and moss.  The rain forest is so magical and the variety of mushrooms and fungi growing at this time of year is astounding.  I am sure there are many other edible mushrooms but I stick to the buttery Chanterelles.  We each came home soaked to the bone but smiling with a bag of Chanterelles in hand.  I dried them today.

Another thing I love to do at this time of year is head out to the garden, in this case my friend’s garden, and see what there is that needs to be harvested and used.  Some things like leeks, carrots, beets and kale are fine through most of the winter here but other vegetables such as tomatoes really need to be picked.  There are also a few late zucchinis to be used as well as peppers and Swiss Chard.

I thought I would share a  recipe with you today for one of the ways I preserved tomatoes this year.  Usually I can tomatoes and freeze some whole.  I ran across an idea in a library book this year and thought I would give it a try.  I was really pleased with the results.

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     Roasted Tomato Sauce

1. Take ripe tomotoes and slice them in half horizontally.  Scoop out any liquid and seeds into a bowl and then set the tomato scooped side up on a cookies sheet covered with parchment paper.

2. Peel and chop some garlic and sprinkle over the tomatoes.

3. Do the same with some fresh basil.

4. Drizzle some olive oil over the tomatoes and put them in the oven at 350 to roast.

5. When the tomatoes are roasted and turning slightly dark brown and starting to soften remove from the oven.

6. Dump the tomatoes and any oil, garlic and basil on the sheet into the bowl of scooped out seeds.

7. Mix gently with a spoon.

8. Place mixture in freezer bags or containers and freeze

Whenever you require tomato sauce take a bag or two out of the freezer and enjoy the rich taste of roasted tomatoes.

Continue until you fill the tray.

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