Over the summer I went away on vacation for a week. I was so excited about going on vacation that I completely over looked the need for caring for my garden. Granted, I’m the laziest gardner that I know. So when I say “care” I simply mean watering. Anyway, my parents asked a close family friend if she could get our mail for us. Much to my parents’ chagrin I asked her if she could give my produce a little water. She hesitated, as she thought she would “kill” the garden, but was pleased to do so. So, I did not have too much anxiety while being away from my garden for a week.
To my surprise AND utter astonishment, after being away for a week, my garden produced a scary abundance of veggies. If you recall, in a previous post I wrote how the garden was growing, but not particularly producing anything. However, this was NOT the case. When I got home the first thing my mom and I did was inspect the garden. Literally. We didn’t even stop to unpack the car! At first site we did not see anything, and mom said, “Awe. Nothing yet.” And she walked away to go into the house. Then I lifted a leaf and screamed. My heart jumped a beat. I thought I saw an animal, but it was the hugest zucchini that I have ever seen in my life! It was so beautiful, flawless, hormonless, and waxless. With that find we began lifted all the other leaves. I harvested a yellow squash, four cucumbers and that massive zucchini.
Immediately, I began thinking about recipes. My mom suggested a veggie lasagna. So I mentally wrote the recipe and searched out the ingredients. What made this meal so special was it was 85% homegrown and organic, and most of all shared with another one of our close family friends, who is also a vegetarian. So, yes I was very proud of myself.
I lovingly labored over this meal. I was determined to not mess it up because I only had one super-sized zucchini. So I decided to do a tomato sauce from scratch. Yes no jarred tomato sauce here. And though it took 2 hours to cook, it was WELL worth it!
That particular morning was a farmer’s market day. I planned to go after work to pick up some battered tomatoes for cheap. However, my co-worker walked in and said, “does anybody want a tomato I got it for free from one of the vendors.” Ecstatic, I turned around and said, “YES!” I didn’t even inspect it. Though I “did” want an ugly tomato I did not expect it to be this ugly. I call it the world’s ugliest tomato. With an open heart I took it home, but didn’t look at it too much because it made my stomach turn. When I got home I saw that I had three other tomatoes in the fridge that were beginning to spoil, so I chopped them all up for the sauce. Because my budget did not allow me to get the boat load of tomatoes that I wanted, I had to use some canned tomatoes. If you go this route use “No Salt Added” canned products, as you would want to add your own flavors to keep the sodium down.