Monday of this week, I chained myself to the kitchen. And by chained, I mean I put on an apron and a good attitude and I worked from shortly after breakfast until evening, baking cookies and peeling tomatoes. It has been a good summer for tomatoes here, at least by our standards. Usually I harvest a couple of handfuls from the several plants I put in the garden. This year it’s been dozens. And so I found a good recipe for marinara and on Monday I made the second batch of it, boxing up several meals worth and squirreling them away in the freezer when it was done Tuesday morning. Slow cooker, overnight, yummm. Winter is going to taste good around here.
While waiting for steamed tomatoes to cool for peeling, I baked pastine al miele, the first cookies I’ve baked since July. Italian for pastries with honey, Sharon Tyler Herbst calls these honeyed fruit strips. Lofty and soft, they are biscuit-like, sweetened with equal parts honey and butter, and are very easy to make. Except for the part where you must finely chop well-blotted maraschino cherries. That’s kind of a finger-staining pain, but they are well worth the effort. Chopped toasted almonds add texture and zing… And a risky brush with death for those who are allergic to the perilous nut. Must remember to label them when I take them to knitting guild next month.
While the marinara was beginning its long simmer, I baked another cookie batch. I am trying to fill our depleted stores from when it was unrelentingly hot here and I didn’t feel like turning on the oven for adventures in cookie-baking but no one felt like stopping the cookie-consumption. More on that second variety tomorrow!