Well, can I first of all say a big cheerful hooray! for the flurry of excitement and cheery thoughtfulness generated after my last post. It’s always a bit scary saying writing a bit of a ‘this is what I think’ post, rather than the usual ‘look! a cheerful thing!’ posts I generally write, so thank you for responding so jollily (I know, it’s not a word, but I’ve already said ‘cheerful’ too many times in this post, and I’m a bit given to inventing words anyway).
Anyway, I’ve been meaning to show you this for a while, and now seems as good a time as any since we’ve been talking about growing food and things. This is my home grown pizza.
(I didn’t grow all of it! Although wouldn’t a pizza tree be fabulous?? But I grew, or made, enough of it to be excited about it).
There really is something so fabulous about eating things you’ve grown yourself. It’s not going to change the world on its own, but it’s just a little step towards self-reliance, one less time you have to go to the shops, one extra day of fresh air and garden pottering.
Last year, I acquired a few tomato plants. Some of them came from Fay, some of them from somewhere else (goodness knows where!), and I planted them all out higgledy piggledy fashion in the garden, and then ignored them for the entire summer. A few of them died. But some of them actually grew, and even hatched a few tomatoes! It was very exciting.
By the end of the summer, most of them still hadn’t turned red, and I brought them inside anyway, and ripened them on the windowsill.
This is probably as good a time as any to confess that I don’t actually *like* raw tomatoes. I keep trying, really I do, and they *are* much more tasty when you’ve grown them yourself, but it’ll be a while before I eat them on a sandwich. Rather than losing a few into soup here and there, I threw them all into the freezer, whole, to be dealt with later.
(so yes, that picture at the top is my entire 2011 tomato harvest. Must try harder.)
It’s quite exciting putting tomatoes in the freezer. As Fay points out, they do actually turn into little cannon balls. I’m sure you could do a fair bit of damage if you tried, but I figured I’d make pizza instead.
(Incidentally, look at what’s happened to those leaves – I wonder whether you could actually make those beautiful leaf skeletons you sometimes find by just putting leaves in the freezer?? Has anyone tried it??)
(oh, and a tip – it’s much easier to take the leafy bits off the tops of tomatoes when you’ve just picked them, than when they’re freezing cold and your fingers stick to them and the leaves are frozen on. Just sayin’).
Anyway – we were making pizza. Mostly because we’ve just bought a new breadmaker, and I fancied trying out the pizza dough setting. And then I spied the tomatoes in the freezer, and thought it would be quite nice to have dinner that I’d mostly either made or grown myself.
While I was rooting round in the freezer gathering the tomatoes (another tip – paper bags do *not* freeze well), I discovered this.
Nope, it’s not some modern art installation – it’s the not-very-frozen remains of the Chive Harvest of 2009. Oh dear. No wonder it’s looking a little bedraggled! Still, in the pot with the tomatoes, and some of the more recent sage and rosemary that I dried, and a bit of the rescued basil that, against all odds, I’ve managed to keep alive for nearly 2 months.
Mmmm, tasty sauce, although far too much for our little pizzas! I made some little tomato sauce hearts to live in the freezer for future speedy pizzas (don’t worry, it won’t stay there as long as the chives, we’ve whipped a couple out tonight for emergency pasta sauce).
So there you have it. One home-buttled pizza. Tomatoes, sage, rosemary, basil, chives (including chive flowers) all grown by me. Pizza made by me (with some assistance from the breadmaker, admittedly).
(onions, mushrooms and spinach from the shop, admittedly, but give me time…)