A Touch of Frost

Ol’ Jack Frost was late this year, but that didn’t make his chilling whack any less painful. The flaking stalks of once-proud tomato plants still haunt my patio, because I’ve been too busy to shuffle the funereal procession of exhausted potting soil to our compost pile or stuff the shameful bits I didn’t harvest into a gaping paper yard bag.

Instead, I’m holed up in the kitchen chopping and spinning and preserving all the goodies that kept on coming right up until the end.

For instance, a fairly substantial beefsteak tomato crop was roasted with some garlic, coarse salt, freshly ground pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil until cooked into submission. and whirled until it became a nice sauce for winter stews and pasta.

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Tender basil, of course, was picked well before the Hunter’s full moon and the first cold, cloudless night for my favorite pesto, a simple concoction of garlic, olive oil, salt and those pricey pine nuts. The parmesan cheese is added later.

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I tried something new this year with an abundance of arugula that carried on throughout the summer, much to my delight. I clipped all the leaves and ushered them into my food processor. A couple of quick spins and the green mulch was ready for an ice cube tray. Covered with a little water, and tucked in the freezer overnight, they happily popped out the following day, ready for their next voyage in some slow cooker soup when the cold breezes carry more than a little dusting of ice crystals in the morning.

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These days you’ll likely catch me hovering near my refrigerator, repeatedly cracking the freezer door open for a look at the pretty rows of red and green jars, while bags of frozen herbs rustle down below, captured summer waiting for a thaw.

Jack would be so proud.

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4 thoughts on “A Touch of Frost

  1. I can think of no more poetic tribute to the harvest season! I love the image of you peeking into the freezer to admire the gallery therein. If your photographs are any indication, your freezer is real eye candy. Those roasted tomatoes are especially gorgeous, but I also admire the “green mulch.” You are an inspiration to my lazy self. Thanks for the look!

  2. It was a real delight to scroll down slowly enjoying this post. I especially love your fall reflection photo, but each photo is lovely and your carefully chosen words are evocative and poetic. I pulled my tomato plants a few days ago and only have two fruits hopefully ripening on my windowsill, but I will definitely try your roasting technique with the end of next year’s crop. Thanks for sharing your beautiful harvest!

    1. I’d definitely give roasting a try, Bonny! And there are many interpretations of the basic recipe out there. You can certainly add more spices if you prefer. This particular batch had a sweet flavor from the Brandywines I used. And thanks for mentioning the header photo. It was taken at a park near me. I’m loving the fall walks there.

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