Welcome to Spanish Lullabies

I have a genuine appreciation for all things "vintage". I enjoy Estate Sales, Rummage Sales and attending the Brimfield Antiques Fair. I like to incorporate the feeling of old things to my jewelry designs. That's why my favorite material to work with is brass. It ages beautifully on its own and looks stunning with many different finishes. I also have a few silver items for a crisp, clean new look. Perhaps there is something for everyone here. I hope you enjoy what you see and read.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes...

OK, so this has nothing to do with jewelry, but I just thought it would be fun to post my tomato journey from almost beginning to end. Here it is, September 24...we have a lot of maples in the area that are turning their beautiful, bright oranges and reds!
 ~~One of my favorite trees in South Hadley.~~

 ~~The ornamental gourds are growing beautifully on their vines...a sure sign of Fall!~~

~~It simply amazes me at the sheer variety of produce that grows right from the ground...beautiful!~~

My garden is coming to the end of its production...everything is taking longer to ripen and the plants look like they are ready to rest after such a busy and fruitful growing season. So I spent some time with them and picked the juiciest tomatoes on the vines. I have some plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lemon boy, big boy and beefsteak tomatoes. Quite the variety! I may have even picked a few of the Husky Reds. We have so many of them, that the kids and I shared two full bags with some of our neighbors. One neighbor didn't have much success with her tomatoes this year, so she was thrilled to get some  fresh tomatoes! Well, the bunch I have left are going to be stewed today. This will be my first time doing this. I just looked up some directions on how to go about this process and it seems very simple. So here is how it went...enjoy!

Instead of digging up one huge chunk of our grass to put the garden, we decided on making rows. I really liked the ease of working in the garden...I was able to rest on the nice, patch of grass in between the rows and also was able to reach all of the plants. We made the grass in between the rows as wide as our lawnmower, which worked out well. Working on this garden was one of the most satisfying, relaxing moments since we moved into this house in 2008.

~~Here is what it looks like now that it is close to the end of the season.We have had a very dry summer.~~

~~This is what I started out with for my stewed tomato project.~~
~~All washed and ready to go! I didn't stew the cherry tomatoes...they are too yummy~~almost like candy. We eat them just like that!~~

~~Organized and ready to go into the pot. Such pretty colors.~~

~~The directions said to core them and put them into the pot over medium heat and cover.~~

 ~~This is what they looked like after 15 minutes. I realized that they needed to be upside down to let all the juices run out and help in the stewing process. So...~~

~~...upside down they went! And then...~~

 ~~...they were stewing!! Yippee! Next, I had to take the skins off. The directions said to use a fork, but I found it SO much easier to use a pair of tongs.~~

~~I was actually dreading this part and considered just leaving the skins on, but I tried it and it wasn't bad. Some skins even slipped right off in one whole piece!~~

~~And here is what I ended up with. I can't wait to make some homemade sauce. Everything tastes better fresh from the garden!~~

So, my journey with the tomatoes was a good one. I think I traumatized my dog, though. She LOVES to eat raw vegetables...especially tomatoes. So I thought I would treat her to some of the cores. Well, I called her over and held the core out for her (she usually sits right next to the cutting board, just waiting for the core as a treat) and just as she was going to take it, I snapped a picture for all the see. 

Who knew my dog was self-conscious? She immediately lowered her head and stepped away from the piece of tomato AND me and curled up into a little ball in the corner. :-( I felt so bad! I put the camera down and went over to her with the tomato thinking she might just not like being photographed while eating (what girl does?) and she cowered even more and looked at me as if to say, "Please Mommy, Don't make me eat it!" So I put the scary tomato away and gave her lots of pets and cuddles and apologized for whatever it was that bothered her. We take pictures of her all the time...like this one~~

 ~~She seems like a happy, well-adjusted dog. LOL!!~~

So I am confused as to why she behaved this way. I wonder what she will do the next time she sees the camera...or worse~~THE TOMATO!!!??