Monday, October 31, 2016

Crane Estate art show & sale—2016

Magnolia 40 x 40" 

This coming weekend is the Trustees of Reservations annual juried Crane Estate art show & sale! With over 300 pieces of original art, it's a nice chance to visit and view "... art highlighting the beauty of North Shore's landscapes and landmarks." The theme of this year's show is called the Spirit of the Garden, so I have submitted the 4 floral paintings shown here. They range in size from very large (the 40 x 40" white magnolia shown above) to very small (the 4 x 4" yellow magnolia shown below).  

The show is free and open to the public from 10AM to 4PM Saturday and Sunday (November 5th and 6th) There is also a preview garden party soirée Friday night November 4th from 7 to 10 PM, and the ticket price includes an open bar, catered hors d'oeuvres, and live music. They throw a good bash, so hope to see you there. 

Spring Magnolia 10 x 10"

Madam Butterfly 4 x 4"

Even without the awesome art show, the Crane Estate is beautiful to visit this time of year, magically perched on a hillside that overlooks the Atlantic ocean. The kids can run wild and the adults can pop inside to see the paintings, then you can take a long walk on Crane's Beach, or stop into Russell Orchards on the way home for some apples or cider donuts. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Roasted tomato soup

I roasted up the very last of the tomatoes from my garden to make a smoky and creamy soup. I'll freeze up most of it, because won't it be nice to sip on this soup on a cold, snowy wintry day to remind me of  summer days? Here is how to make this soup: 

Cut all tomatoes in half lengthwise (or quarter them, if they are super large), and place cut side up on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and drizzled with olive oil. Salt and pepper the tomatoes and add fresh thyme leaves if you have some. Place into a 375° oven and roast for about an hour. The end result will be intensely flavored tomatoes with a slight bit of char on them.

Then cut up and sauté a diced medium onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic in a tablespoon of butter. When onions are clear, add in the roasted tomatoes, 2 cups of homemade chicken stock (or small can of low sodium chicken stock), 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, a day of liquid smoke, and a half cup of fat free half and half. If you have smoked pimento, add a teaspoon for more smokey flavor. Salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about five minutes. Carefully use an immersion blender or pour soup into a blender to wiz the soup into a smooth consistency. If you prefer a chunkier soup texture reserve some tomatoes, roughly chop them and badd back into the soup after blending. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche (or Greek yogurt or even sour cream), a drizzle of olive oil and a spring of thyme. Of course, half of a buttery, gooey, grilled cheese sandwich would be marvelous with this soup!

You may also like: 
recipe post from a few years ago where I explained my philosophy 
about tomato soups. This post was published on Tastespotting


Saturday, October 1, 2016

October garden bounty

It's delightful that my garden is still producing—even in October—when the high sunshine days are long gone. I adore the golden Patty Pan squashes. I hollow out and fill the larger ones with scrumptious goodies (corn, onion, Gruyere cheese, thyme, and a squeeze of lemon. etc.) then bake in the oven, and the large Bradywine tomatoes are smashing in a BLT, but it's the explosively sweet flavor of those little Sun Gold tomatoes that have absolutely seduced me this year. And they're super easy to grow.