Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I came home after my first official full day on the farm with a bag of cherry tomatoes (plus 4 plums), two mini heads of garlic, purple majesty potatoes, sprigs of slightly dried rosemary, two sweet light yellow peppers, one mild green, and half of a freshly baked loaf of onion bread Sarah and I split after the Westcliffe farmer’s market. Due to my lack of cooking oil in the house (a trip to the grocery store was needed in the near future) I figured I would save roasting the potatoes until later on in the week. After tasting them in Beki’s delicious ham and vegetable soup the night before they were absolutely worth the wait, especially with that rosemary…woah mama! I was excited. Anyway, that meant that tomatoes and peppers were on the menu since no heat was going to be involved in this meal. Well, sort of. My mind immediately went to a bruschetta, only I would have to make due with no cheese or basil. Even still, I had tomatoes, peppers, and garlic that I could dice up, and salt to bring out the natural juices of the tomatoes which I could then soup up with toasted slices of my fresh onion bread. It was the perfect bread for bruschetta; that crunchy crust and chewy but soft interior you would get from a french baguette only in round loaf form, already pre-sliced! I was in business.
After I put the bread in the toaster oven, I tasted my tomato mixture to see how I did with the salt. It tasted good, but not great. The salt brought out the flavors of the vegetables, but it was missing that alternative flavor that would curve the strict saltiness and brighten the whole dish. Of course I knew what it was that was missing: acidity. There was a hint of it from the tomato juice, but not enough. The only problem was just that I didn’t know if the kitchen had any other contenders. I love acids of all kinds because they take every dish it’s added to to the next level flavor-wise (more than one note, if you will). I love acidity so much that my vinaigrettes completely surpass the standard 3:1 ratio of oil to acid (vinegar, etc), almost enough to reverse the proportion. My roommate Molly tried one of my salads once with my homemade vinaigrette and her face contortion after the first bite said enough. I can’t help it! I just love it. Especially in citrus form (I mean, I did dress up as a lime last Halloween…still not sure if I should be embarrassed of that or not, since I’m not really). And what was I to find mere minutes later in the kitchen? A lemon! It was meant to be. In it went into the mixture and life was better. Now we had a well rounded dish.
The smell of the toast told me it was done, and the next thing it knew it was soaking in delicious tomato/garlic/lemon juice from the spoonfuls of my mixture being placed on top of its warm toasty surface. I took my first bite and had the sweet, satisfying experience of the perfect toast crrrrrunch (although, the surface was getting slightly soggy from the juice, and made it that much more enjoyable to munch). My first personal farm food meal was a success, and every main ingredient was from a 2 mile radius of where it was being eaten. Plus it was eaten within mere days of the main ingredients’ production or harvesting. Not too bad I thought, not too bad at all.