Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm back!

Last night I had a dream about tomatoes.

It wasn’t all that exciting, except for that these tomatoes were grown in my garden, right outside my window. In the dream, I planted a tomato plant and then forgot about it. A few months later, I went outside and there were three bright red tomatoes hiding in the dirt, ready to be eaten. (I realize that tomatoes grow above ground, but in my dream, they were hiding in the dirt.) And that was all, a short little simple dream.

This was a dream I had last night, but it’s also a real dream of mine, to be able to walk outside, pick a tomato off a vine, chop it up and use it right away.

This little tidbit of a dream also reveals how I want this scenario to become a reality: I want to plant a seed, forget about it for a few months, then come back and enjoy the benefits without putting in the work that is obviously required.

A few months ago, I moved back to Norway to work and save up money before I move to London in the fall to do a master’s degree. I decided to try to take this time to do things I’ve been wanting to do for ages, but haven’t had the time for while studying or working a real job. One of those things was to plant and grow a vegetable garden.

My tomato dream was very much based on real life. A while ago, I planted tomato seeds in little pots and put them in my windowsill. I watered them and looked after them for the first few weeks. And then I forgot about them.

Much like this blog.

I loved writing here when I first started. I put work into it, remembered to bring my camera with me whenever I was doing anything food related, set aside time on weekend afternoons to write. Then I got busy, and spending time on writing here started feeling like a chore. The last time I wrote was yesterday a year ago exactly. Since then, lots of people I know have asked me when I’m going to start blogging again, people I didn’t even know read this. It's been wonderful to hear that so many followed and enjoyed this thing. And I've thought about starting again, I just haven't gotten my act together to do it. I do still love food, I do still love writing, thinking, and dreaming about it.

This blog has had the same fate as my tomato plants: I planted a seed, watered it for a while, and as per usual, forgot about it.

-

I woke up this morning and, inspired by my little tomato dream, went over to take a look at the seeds I’d planted.



There they were, sprouted, parched, but willing and able to become luscious red tomatoes. All they needed was a little help.

So, little tomatoes, so, little blog, I’m back to see you through.

*****

Part of the reason that I wanted to plant a vegetable garden is the fruit and berries my parents have always had in their garden. It’s the most incredible thing to be able to pick plums and cherries right off the trees and make a plum cake or a cherry tart. My parents’ freezer is stuffed with frozen raspberries and red currants from years past, and being home during these winter months, I’ve been working my way through their stash. Here’s the latest recipe I made, with fresh raspberries from the garden via the freezer (recipe found on Joy of Baking)


Apple Crisp
Topping:
1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh or ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup (30 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup (40 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans

Filling:
6 apples (granny smiths are perfect!) peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 cup fresh raspberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons (40 grams) white granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 (190 C). Put all of the topping ingredients into a food processor, mix until crumbly, with no big pieces of butter left. This can also be done with two knives, but will take a while. Mix together the filling in a separate bowl, then spread into a buttered dish. Spread topping over apples. Bake for 30-40 mins, until top is golden brown and looks crispy. Serve with vanilla ice cream!

4 comments:

O said...

Welcome back, Natalya! Wonderful to read some beautiful food prose from a beautiful food pro!

mr. pineapple man said...

i really enjoyed reading ur post. I just started blogging too and am wondering if I'm going to get sick of it someday. So far I'm okay..but its only been a few weeks so..:) I also transplanted my tomato plants, but not sure if they'll survive. wish me luck!

corey said...

Good to hear, Natalya :)

melissajane said...

keep me posted on your tomatoes! love to read your blog, keep it up girl!