These are the very last of my tomatoes for this year. It's hard to believe they lasted this long, into late October! The poor plants looked pathetic, with withering brown leaves, but I was still able to pick these and make a few salads with them. I'm already missing them and looking forward to next year's tomato bounty.
From earlier in the summer…
Baguette with a rainbow of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil.
When the weather gets cold—but before we turn on the heat—I like to heat the house a bit up by simmering stocks on the stove for those warming winter soups. In a pinch, you can get away with canned chicken stock, but canned beef stock is not even close to how delicious your homemade stock is. It takes several hours, but the stovetop does all the work for you!
Homemade beef stock
To make this super rich beef stock roast, simply toss a combo of veal shanks, short ribs, and oxtails along with carrots, onions and celery onto an oiled sheet pan into a 450°oven for a 45 minutes. Then place everything into a large stock pot, including all those brown bits. Cover with water and add (additional) carrots, celery, onion, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, several peppercorns and a head of garlic. Then just let the stock simmer away on a very low flame for at least 4 hours. Skim off fat and scum as it arises. Cool, add salt to taste, then strain twice through cheesecloth. You can use your stock right away or put in freezer for a snowy soup day for your beef bourguignon, beef stew, Vietnamese pho, or French onion soup. It's a labor of love, but you'll be astounded at how good your soups will taste with your own homemade beef stock!
These two new paintings are of bronze statues in a nearby garden in Hamilton. The life-size sculptures were done by sculptor Richard Recchia (1883-1985), who spent his later years in Rockport, MA. I don't know why the flute is bent, it just is.
These are my five fine frogs— aren't they beautiful? I bought them around may from a nearby garden center when they were just cute little pollywogs. They like hanging out in our fish pond with the Five Freds (our goldfish, who, truth be told, are now only the Three Freds). It's very very rare that I see them all at once like this! Read more about our fish and frogs by clicking here, hereandhere.