Sunday, August 1, 2010

More Garden Cooking and Our "Summer Vacation"

The tomato harvest has been just wonderful this year.  I have them coming out of my ears (no complaints), so I have been experimenting with different methods of putting them up.  So far I have done some bruschetta preserves (canned), caramelized (then frozen), oven-dried, frozen whole, and a fresh sauce on the stove-top.   I used the oven-dried and caramelized Juliet tomatoes in a recipe that caught my eye over at Thy Hand Hath Provided.   The recipe is for a Pesto Tort.  There are many variations of this tort out there, but most others utilize store bought ingredients, and none that I saw look so beautiful when served.  The thing that I loved about this particular recipe was the opportunity to use home-grown garden goodness- but it was a time consuming endeavor, let me tell you!  First one must dry some tomatoes in order to make a dried tomato pesto.  Then one must make a basil pesto.  Once these two concoctions are made the tort goes together easily with some grocery store cheeses (cream cheese and ricotta, with a tad of butter thrown in).  We had a sliver with lunch today and it was well worth the effort.  The best part about this tort is the amount I have put away in the freezer for future use......we will be enjoying this stuff for some time to come.  I see a wedge being brought to our friend's house for Thanksgiving, and another set out at Christmas.  A nice bottle of red and some water crackers are all you need to make an impression with this tort.  Here are some of my portions wrapped and ready for the freezer:

This is good stuff folks, if you are feeling adventurous give it a try, I think you will be quite happy you did!!
On a separate note we took a day trip (our big "Summer Vacation") to Block Island, RI on Friday and it was a blast.  We said we were going to do it for the last 2 years, and yet somehow it escaped us.  But we were determined to make it happen this Summer, so following is a picture intensive diary of our day.  I won't be upset if you decide to skip it.  ;)  (We left the house at 7:00 am and didn't get home until around 10:00 that evening....we were whipped but full of good memories.  It was good to be home again, going away for vacation is just not our our minds the day-trip is king.) Here are some pictures from our little island adventure:

We had breakfast in Point Judith before boarding the ferry.  Down below the boats were unloading the day's catch.  Our view was of skate being off loaded, most likely about to head right back out to sea as bait.

Ferry boarded, and we are off!  My son was all stressed out over the horn blowing.  Then he thought the boat might sink (maybe because we have been studying the Titanic?!?).  He got himself so worked up he became nauseous and held a bad to his face for half the trip.  Luckily some members of the U.S. Coast Guard were on board and we assured him they would not let the ferry sink.  Crisis averted.  

Once on island we went straight to Ballards for some lunch (and much needed beer) on the beach.

The morning quickly turned into afternoon, and we were off to the "Great Salt Pond" to meet our captain for the day sail...

This was an interesting vessel.  Captain Larry and his wife live on board in 'the pond' during the summer months, running their charters when the weather permits.  They spent two years building this boat, which is a "trimaran" (3 hulls) while living and homeschooling in rural Virginia.  Their two grown children are also living on boats in the harbor for the Summer, their daughter was crew for our sail.

The three hulled vessel:

Dinner at Beachead Tavern.....the captain's wife recommended this spot for their fried clam strips- and they were delicious.  It is hard to find "strips" around here, all the clams come with bellies intact.  (Yuck.)

This boat table was pretty cool, there was lots of pirate treasure under the lacquer for the kids to seek out.  And of course the view was tranquil.

Lastly, some views of the island from the departing ferry and the sun setting into the Atlantic as we headed for home.  Hope you enjoyed the lengthy (but scenic) tour of our Block Island adventure.  


Erin said...

You know how to cram a lot of fun into a day! Great photos, tri-hulls are cool, there are a lot of them around here. That tort dish looks amazing, will bookmark it for pesto-making day!

Annie's Granny said...

Thank you for a very enjoyable day trip. Your children are adorable!

meemsnyc said...

Yummy, a torte! Looks like you had a great time boating!

Dani said...

Nothing better than having fun out with the family!

ThyHandHathProvided said...

I'm so glad you like the pesto torte! And what lovely vacation pictures:-).

Kelly said...

ThyHand- that tort is seriously delicious. I brought some to meeting w/some gardening friends last night, and they agreed. I think this recipe has a permanent spot in my Summer recipes collection.

Kelly said...
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Thomas said...

Marc and I are sort of tomatoed out that this point. I seems like we've been eating it at every meal. I will have to try these preservation methods.

Great family vacation pics! It looks like you had a fabulous time.