This weekend was beautiful, warm but not hot, today especially. So I took a break from the kitchen.
I bought grapes, the first of the season! While I was sad to learn that my favorite kind, muscat, is not grown in this area, I was delighted to discover many other varieties that smelled like perfume and tasted as sweet as candy. Apparently a lot of grapes are grown up near Ithaca. That’s not so very far away from here, is it?
I saw a man walking nonchalantly by my favorite home on Manhattan. It’s beautiful, and he didn’t even bat an eye. Maybe he walks by it all the time, maybe he lives just a few doors down, maybe he has no appreciation for lush, gorgeous ivy covering a stately brick exterior. Or maybe I’m just particularly sensitive towards the aesthetically pleasing. All I know is, whenever I pass it, I have stop, sigh, and admire.
I went to Chinatown and bought boba, also known as bubble milk tea. Have you ever had it? It’s probably my favorite beverage in the world, un-eclipsable by anything else, alcoholic or non-. Truthfully, Chris and I make the trip to Chinatown often to buy boba, at least twice a week. Our favorite spot is located on Canal Street, but it’s too expensive for addicts like us. So we go to another spot that’s decent, but made all the sweeter by the fact that it has a 2-for-1 deal. Alas, Chatime we’ll have to reserve for special occasions.
I had two credit cards stolen. I believe the theft occurred in a coffee shop near NYU, the unlikeliest of places if you ask me. And the funny thing is, I’d scooted my purse in closer because I’d felt uncomfortable by how near the party behind me sat. The exact same thing had happened to me in Bolivia: a man who’d sat a little too close for comfort, me preemptively pulling my purse in. He’d managed to get away with about $7 worth of cash. The thief in New York had unsuccessfully tried making a $900+ purchase at the Apple store on both cards. It serves her (her? him? Would a man try to pass a card with a woman’s name on it as his?) right.
Before all this happened, on Friday, I roasted tomatoes.
I think I might’ve mentioned that I like my tomatoes raw, with just a touch of olive oil and salt. But in the case of cherry tomatoes, well, roasting them slowly on low heat, is a one-up.
The taste pierces. It’s so sharply sweet and intense, tomato condensed and condensed some more until all its taste is packaged in a shriveled, innocuous mass. For these tomatoes, I’m willing to turn my oven on, the oven that had traumatized me weeks ago, the oven that I’d vowed to part ways with until after Labor Day, until after temperatures dip below the 80’s once and for all.
A little goes a long way. I’ll be tossing them in salads, on sandwiches, on bagels, in pasta, whenever I need a boost of tomato action. Which could be anytime inspiration strikes, like when I walk by the fridge.
Yup, my weekend was punctuated by tomatoes. They’re a good thing to have around when I’m dealing with my credit card companies’ fraud departments on the phone. And for easing myself back into the work week.
Happy Monday, friends.
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees (Note: My oven only goes down to 300 degrees, so I had to roast them at this temperature.)
Cut the tomatoes in half. Toss with the olive oil (so they’re lightly covered) and lay the halves on a baking sheet, cut side up, along with the garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast the tomatoes for 2 to 3 hours until they shrivel but are still juicy on the inside. (Note: Because my oven was at 300 degrees, I had to turn the oven off after about an hour and 15 minutes because the tomatoes in the corners had started burning. I won’t lose any to the carbonizing effects of heat!)
To store, let the tomatoes cool and put them in a covered jar in the fridge. You may need to cover them with some extra olive oil.