Friday, August 31, 2012

Ode to the Tomato

O' the lovely tomato.

Thank you for making me think I am a gardener.  Thank you for granting me a couple beefsteak tomatoes from a container garden.

You are so simple and pure and you give summer it's distinctive taste.

And thank you so much for transforming the ordinary turkey sandwich into a taste explosion.

I am so sad to see my final tomatoes slowly ripening as it means the end of deliciousness right outside my door.  I will miss you my friend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Week-End of Tennis

We are very lucky to live only 4 hours away from Cincinnati where they hold what is now called the Western and Southern Open.  It used to be the Cincinnati Open, but it has grown and is now a significant event on the ATP Tennis circuit.

The best thing about this tournament is that it is held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.  It was built just for tennis and there isn't a bad seat in the house.  It feels amazingly intimate for a sports venue.  I was able to get to court side for photos during warm up.

Here are some of the highlights:

Roger Federer

You can't really appreciate how brilliant he is until you see if play live.  There is just no comparison.  It doesn't heard that he is truly beautiful as completely supported by the group of women sitting behind us.  They came from North Carolina and are admitted "Roger stalkers".

Serena Williams

Venus Williams

Novak Djokovic

And here was the closest I was able to get to Rafa Nadal.  It's not much...but it's something.

And Breslyn was the biggest trouper of all considering we sat in unrelenting sun for hours.

You go Bres!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Using My Tomatoes

I had about 25 Early Girl tomatoes sitting on my counter. There's no way I can make enough BLTs or burgers to use them up quickly.  So I decided to make a pasta sauce using tomatoes, basil and parsley...all from my garden.

I blanched the tomatoes to remove the skin.  I then diced them up and sautéed them in olive oil with onions and garlic. After they had soften, I added dried oregano, fresh basil, parsley and seasoned with salt, pepper and a little sugar (I always add sugar to my red sauce to cut the bite of the tomatoes).  I then let it simmer on the stove for a while with a few parmesan rinds.  This is a neat little trick I learned somewhere.  Probably on Food Network since I watch it so much.  Save your parmesan rinds and then just toss them into any red sauce.  Gives it a nice cheesy flavor and leaves nothing to waste.

Finally, I poured the sauce into a jar and popped it in the fridge as I won't be using it for a few days.

This is a beautiful thing.

And thanks to PW for the tutorial on how to do a skim shot.  It's where you shoot at the same level to include background information.  It makes for a much more interesting photo.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I've been in Atlanta area most of the week for work and I am compelled to make a list.

Top 10 Things I Hate About Travel

  1. Packing
  2. Leaving the house in the catch a 10am flight.
  3. Dragging a suitcase and over stuffed computer bag around the airport
  4. Really expensive bottles of water at the airport
  5. Finding out your gate is the 2nd to last gate down a crazy long hallway
  6. People in Zone 3 who stand by the door blocking everyone (especially the one that was the size of a linebacker).  
  7. Crammed airplanes.  (Remember when you might have an empty seat next to you.)
  8. Hotel rooms that are dampish and too hot or too cold
  9. Mushy pillows
  10. Finding out your plane has a mechanical problem that can't be fixed, after everyone has boarded. 
I could go on and on, but I'll hold myself to just 10.  

I'm so glad to be back home and feel a new appreciation for my pillow, bed, toilet seat (yes...that feels like home too).

And hey...Delta, please bring back your cookies.  They were a small delight in an otherwise miserable experience.