Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spaghetti Squash worthy of a glass of wine......and a new dress

I had two spaghetti squash left over from last fall, if you read the post "Yes sir, yes sir two bags full" you may have noticed that I store my squash under my spinning chair for the winter. That is my entry room and is very cool in the winter unless the "cheesy fireplace" is on, which it hardly ever is because the gas company just chuckles at the other end of the line every time that switch it flicked, and so that room has become my cold storage and apparently the perfect temperature for potatoes however...whoooo, like a box of creatures from out of a horror movie, something Steven Spielberg would create....anyway. Today I cooked up my squash, it was so good! Here is my recipe;

First poke holes in the squash all over about 2 inches apart (or else she explodes in your oven), put the whole thing in a roasting pan and bake at 350 F for about an hour.....nothing else in the pan, no water, no butter, no nada. Easy peasy, go have a nap for an hour. (set a timer)

After an hour take it out of the oven and let it cool on your cutting board. Meanwhile to make my special marinara sauce put a good dollop of Olive oil in a deep sided frying pan and dice a few garlic cloves (about 6) and a medium sized onions.....or more or less depending on taste, garlic and onions are so good for you so don't be shy. Then I put some chicken broth....remember the post "let me tell you about soup" you all went out and made a bunch of chicken broth right? Grab some out of the freezer and dump the whole frozen chunk (about 2 cups) in your pan and let it slowly melt. Once it's melted get a can of tomatoes from the freezer that you froze last year (remember I told you how to freeze tomatoes super fast and easy in the post "mary mary quite contrary how does your garden grow") dump that frozen chunk in there too and add some dried oregano and basil and the ever so special Tomato consume, however much you like, add some pepper, I usually stick my hand blender in there as well and puree it so that it is nice and smooth. Let it sit there and simmer while you deal with your squash which is now cool enough to handle.
Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, you know the stuff that looks like the inside of a pumpkin. Now take a fork and scrape out the flesh, it will come out stringy like spaghetti, scoop it into a serving bowl. It looks magical doesn't it.
Now, your sauce is all pretty and red, take a baggie of frozen green beans out of your did pick and freeze some green beans from your garden last fall didn't you? Well, if you didn't you can buy some frozen green beans and add to your sauce now, you don't want your beans to be over cooked and all limpy and soggy that is why you leave it to the last. If your sauce is a little runny at this time, which mine was, take a little container and put about 1 heaping tsp of cornstarch in and some water and shake it until it is smooth and no longer lumpy and pour into your sauce and stir over high heat until it thickens. You are done....that is my marinara sauce. Pour on top on your spaghetti and sprinkle some fresh Parmesan cheese on. This is a meal worthy of a glass of red wine, garlic toast and ceasar salad are great with it as well.....then you might even need 2 glasses or wine.

Having homemade chicken broth and frozen tomatoes in the freezer makes making quick meals so much easier and healthier. Freezing tomatoes is so easy. I just wait until I have a a bunch of ripe tomatoes and cut them into quarters and stuff them in a 500 ml canning jar and stick my hand in there and squish them so the juices comes out, leave about 1 inch of head room for expansion and stick in the freezer. Some people peel their tomatoes first and stew them up with all kinds of spices, which is all good but so much work. ( I used to do it like that too) I add the spices when I am making the dish anyway and they get stewed then, so I don't feel there is any need to do all that. This way you can freeze them in small batches and as they ripen and it's not a big messy production. There is so much you can do with frozen tomatoes, don't ever be afraid of having too many jars of tomatoes in the freezer.

By the way, now is a good time to start some tomato plants indoors, mine are already about an inch high

 A few weeks ago I went to see my mom and sisters in La Crete which is about an hour drive East of here, when I am there I like stopping at the second hand store there. I discovered something incredible this time, there is a door that leads to a separate little room that I had never seen before, it's a hidden door. I was invited in this time...oh my. Had I not had my grandma with me I would still be in there. It is a little room full of sewing patterns, every kind of pattern imaginable from every era, yes, old old old patterns....vintage patterns selling for 25 cents each, I know....shocking, exciting and just so incredible, but I didn't want to keep my grandma on her feet for too long, although she was almost as excited as I was, she was a seamstress (still does lots of sewing). If you would have been on the other side of the wall you would have heard this "oh grandma look at this one" "wow, look at the this," "oh, I remember these dresses...oh those sleeves", " this used to be the dress to have", "oh grandma look at this one", "look look look" and so it went......I bought a dress pattern, dropped grandma off and drove to the fabric store as fast as I could in search for some green cotton with white polka dots.....and they didn't have any, I was heart broken, I had an imagine in my head of this dress in green with white polka dots. I had to have this dress, so I bought some other green fabric....I am still on the hunt for the green/white. Then I drove to my moms and she whipped me up a new dress in about 2 hours. It;s always good to come home for a visit. My mom phoned me a few days later and said grandma wanted the same beige, I have the coolest grandma. Next time I visit I am taking her to "the room" again....without her there I might spend the whole weekend in "the room". We'll bring refreshments and some snacks.....I wonder if I should make a reservation?

I haven't yet figured out how to take a nice picture of myself and the dress hanging empty looked a bit silly. See the brown dress on the right, that's the one my mom would be amazing in a grass green with white I wrong? 


Trinidad said...

Wow, I had never heared of freezing tomatoes but will definitely try it now. Your squash looks delicious and will have to give it a try.

I dont even sew and was very excited for you, your grandma and the hidden room. It's always nice to have a find like that. And I like the idea of grass green with the white polka dots! I look forward to seeing you work your magic.

Contessa said...

What a great post, the story just went on & on and I didn't want it to end. Loved the happy ending dress. Personally I like this fabric! Love the idea of freezing tomatoes but I don't have a large enough freezer. Spaghetti squash is great, healthy and low calorie. Yum!