Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mock Lobstah, Merry Tomatoes, Sunroom TLC


Hello! Wayne and I didn't take any field trips this weekend since there were things that needed to be done around the house and friends from out of town came to visit earlier in the day.

In the photo above it looks like the shrub is undergoing some waist training as Wayne gave the peace sign from a hole in the house...

The house was built in the 1950s, and the sunroom was once a carport which you can see on the left side of the photo below. At some point it was transformed into the sunroom above that I adore.

Over the decades the wood panels began to rot through and needed to be replaced. My ex-husband did a thorough job with replacing many of them but recently others began to rot (which you can't see behind the paint--you simply push on it and if it gives, that's bad), so Wayne took care of that on this beautiful late August afternoon.

While he was doing his handiwork I was admiring our tomatoes and kept thinking that they looked like beautiful Christmas ornaments. I briefly hung a few of my vintage 1950s mercury glass balls on the vines.

A little Christmas tree?? AMIRIGHT? Kooky, I know, but it was fun to dress them up for a bit. But I wasn't finished.

When I was doing research for my cookbook this past winter I got a kick out of the many depression-era recipes for "mock" dishes that were made from inexpensive food dressed up and arranged to look like the pricey real deal. I wanted to doll up the tomatoes to look something like Maine Lobster Roll. Unlike the Great Depression when lobster was so cheap that it was prison food, it's very pricey today!

So! Introducing my very own "Mock Lobstah" salad!

I had cold leftover roasted chicken in the fridge from which I picked off some of the breast meat and removed the skin. I chopped a deep red juicy tomato from the garden, then added it, the chicken and mayonnaise into a bowl and mixed them together.

Once well blended I placed it in a Mason jar for storage and scooped some of the Imposter Lobster into a hotdog bun because that's how we roll in Maine. I used a gluten-free roll for mine.

Boy it tastes good and almost lobster-like! Lobster is sweet so the tomato really plays into the charade with its color and garden-fresh flavor. My Mock Lobstah Salad is also inexpensive and helps stretch leftover chicken. Maybe no one would be fooled but who cares, it's delicious!

After Wayne finished his project we enjoyed Mock Lobstah on the deck. 

September is almost here! Not ready to let go of summer yet.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tomato Love

I *just* picked these two beauties from the raised bed garden, which are the first from that location! For the past week we've been eating tomatoes from our container garden on the deck.

I absolutely love having these beautiful vines and tomatoes to gaze at and eat. I never knew that watching a vegetable garden grow could be so relaxing, enjoyable and exciting!

Wayne has done all of the work! He has lovingly tended to our first little garden with daily watering which is key since we're experiencing a drought this summer.

To me the tomatoes are like beautiful works of edible art, even and especially the imperfect ones. So far I've made a sliced tomato omelette in my 1940s iron skillet, added tomatoes to last night's pot roast over mashed potatoes, been eating sliced, juicy vine fresh Cherokee Purple tomatoes, and made a fantastic tomato onion focaccia

Timmy loves having super fresh and juicy tomatoes!

This can't ever get old!! But I know it will soon end. I plan to savor what's left of the Maine summer.

And here we have a peek at what goes on behind the scenes! Gardening isn't always a glam affair.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Happy 100 Years to my Nana!

100 years old and she still is fabulous! My Nana is an inspiration to me on many levels.

Me and Nana in the late 1980s.

This is also sometime in the 1980s. My Nana never let herself go, inside our out, and has a will and spirit fiercer than anyone I know! When I recently asked her to share her beauty secrets, she replied: "Secrets? There are no secrets. I was born this way!"