Monday, April 21, 2008

The weekend: stewed tomatoes, crying baby, and five shrimp

I took part in a tomato buying group with three others last week, and each of us got 2.5 kilos of tomatoes for only P50. Sweet. Lugging the kilos home, I looked at them and wondered - salsa? tomato jelly? spaghetti sauce for the month? salsa???? I gave a good lot away to my mother who will be able to eat most of her share in salads and healthy foods that she needs to ingest. And the rest, I prettified them by arranging the unripened fruit in a nice white ceramic bowl for a day. A table display. Not salsa.
The next day, starting to worry that the tomatoes would turn into their own salsa without any help from me, I decided to lop off their stems and put them into the slow cooker. I initially thought I'd make pasta sauce, but as I looked at them sllllooooowly heating up (crockpots are the worst for those of us obsessed with watching the pot boil), I figured I'd just douse the tommies with olive oil, some salt and dried herbs. Then I went to see a friend and her baby. 6 hours later, I came home to the smell of Italy. Hahahaha, well, olive oil and herbs and stewed tomatoes. For lo! I had stewed a kilo of tomatoes! Have I eaten them yet? No. But I have plans for my stewed tomatoes and I will get to that later in the week.
My friend R now has two kids, the latest is close to 4 months old and looks a lot like his brother. Mini-Sam the baby is. And he didn't want to be held by anyone but his mama. We did get some photos of him in a kiddie pool, no diaper, dabbling in the water with his older brother. But when his mom needed to eat dinner, he was ferociously unwilling to sleep. According to R, he's less fussy than his bro, but she was sorry he wouldn't deign to let me carry him without bawling. I did manage to hold him for about ten minutes when he had drifted off a bit, but I also had to head home, since Alabang is way far and my bedtime was fast approaching.
As scheduled, friend A and J met me for our Sunday painting session. Rather, the three of us yakked away for a couple of hours about J's recent family trip to Tokyo (Disneyland! and a day in slushy snow!), and all the family turmoil we've had since our last painting session a few years back. Then J's hubby called up and said he was on his way, so it was not as productive a painting session as we had hoped. To salvage what time was left, I ground up some ink, and dabbled on some paper, practicing or at least attempting to figure out the strokes for the shape of what I thought were lobsters, only to find out the painting I was looking at was entitled 6 Shrimps. Oh well. So I ended up with five shrimp, since four is a no-no number in chinese culture. And A said to place my chop and it would be ready for display. Heck no. This was practice. And I need more time to get used to my brushes again. Poor A. After a couple of years of storage, he opened his brush mats to find most of his brushes eaten up by some brush eating insect. Freaky! At least he's heading to China with the family next week and can shop for stuff galore.


Katrina said...

Did I understand correctly -- you left the tomatoes stewing while you left the house for 6 hours?! Or do you mean that you took them off the heat and left them soaking up the oil and herbs while you were gone?

mtan said...

Slowcookers/crockpots are built to cook food on low heat for several hours. So I plugged it in, and left the tomatoes to cook for 6 hours. Quite safe. You can also do braised meats that way, and stews.

Katrina said...

Oh, I see, it's an electric appliance. I thought you'd left the stove on!

christine said...

Those crockpots are great, no? You can dump ingredients in before you leave for work in the morning, and come home to a nice meal. Such a great invention for busy people!

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