Celebrating a Local Harvest

I was planning on attending the local Harvest Fair…really, it was on my calendar and I was looking forward to all the exhibits.  Even the goats and chickens.  Especially the goats and chickens.  But when it came right down to it I couldn’t get myself out the door, into the car and across town.  The weather is glorious; probably one of our last hot days for the year.

I’m sure the fair would be crowded.  I’m not a huge fan of big crowds.  I’m sure if it was pouring today I’d have stuck with my plans and gone “fair-ing”.  Lucky for the vendors, not to mention the intrepid souls that make up the crowds, it’s a beautiful day.  I’m sure the Harvest Fair will be a huge success.

tomato harvest

Me?  I decided to do a little local harvesting of my own.  I plucked all the ripe tomatoes and sorted the ones that had cracked from those that were unblemished.  I remembered a recipe I’d seen for what sounds like a delicious elixir called “tomato water.” Only in the peak of harvest when I actually have a glut of ripe tomatoes can I even imagine such a decadent use of this treasured summer time crop.

tomato water

It’s ridiculously simple really:  Cut up 2-3# of ripe tomatoes.  Process the tomatoes and a large pinch of kosher salt to a fine puree.  Line a sieve with a piece of cheesecloth and place over a bowl.  Pour the puree into the sieve and allow to drain through the cheesecloth and collect in the bowl.  This will take several hours.

What you’ll get is – well, tomato water.  Pure flavor and the essence of the last warm day of summer captured in a almost clear, rosy liquid.  I’m thinking of inventing a commemorative End of Summer martini.  Vodka, tomato water, maybe a little lemon, definitely garnished with basil and a cherry tomato.  Hmmm, salted rim?  Served with fresh mozzarella, more tomatoes and house-made pickled lazy housewives.



For curious readers – it is now Sunday and yet another beautiful day.  Last night’s end-of-summer martini’s were pronounced “worthy”.  Lovely evening with good friends and oh so local food!

This is also my last weekend before a very busy stretch of travel, book signings, demonstrations and well – WORK!  Work is good, I’m not complaining; well maybe a little.  I’m glad I stayed in today and celebrated my own local harvest…even if I did miss out on the chickens and goats.

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2 Responses to “Celebrating a Local Harvest”

  1. Daniel Mount September 13, 2009 at 12:44 am #

    I like the idea of a tomato martini, sort of a minimalist’s Bloody Mary. I never thought I’d see a summer in the northwest that I’d have enough tomatoes to try something different than my usual slow roasted tomato sauce. Thanks for the ‘tini tip and reminding me what a treat it is to stay home. I could do it every day.

  2. admin September 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    It was lovely Daniel. Next time we might try a smidge of Worcestershire sauce for an added kick. And now my friend…cough up your slow roasted tomato sauce recipe.