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.
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.
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.