Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fork in the Path

When there's a fork in the road, which one do you take?

Maybe Robert Frost's poem comes to your mind:
     "Two roads diverged in yellow wood..."
That's kind of perfect for this painting.

But, I keep thinking of another poem by Sam Walter Foss.
     "One day, through the primeval wood.
     A calf walked home, as good calves should;
     But made a trail all bent askew,
      A crooked trail, as all calves do.
It goes on to say that other animals then humans and finally a busy road followed that calf's crooked path instead of making their own straight paths.  I actually read part of that poem in my high school graduation speech way back in 1982.
If you follow this driveway and turn at the first fork, you'll end up at my house.  As soon as those autumn leaves fall, you'll be able to see it.  If you don't take that fork, you'll go around the pond and end up at our neighbor's house.  Watch out for our deer!

Original Oil Painting on 12"16" Wrapped Canvas

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Salsa Grande

Some time in the middle of July when the garden is at it's peak, I take this the recipe card out of my little recipe book. This is what it says:
  10  Quarts of Tomatoes
  6    Large Onions
  3    Quarts of Bell Peppers
  1    Quart of Jalapenos
  1/2  Cup of Granulated Garlic
  1/2  Cup of Salt

But this is what actually happens:
    I get the biggest pot that I have and the stand at the sink with my little knife.  I cut all the cores and any bad places off tomato after tomato and toss them into the blender.  The blender holds about quart so I do that a bunch of times... until the sink full of tomatoes is empty.  Then I decide that must be about 10 quarts

    I actually use a measuring cup for the salt and the garlic... at least to begin with.  A half a cup of salt seems like a lot.  Garlic is something I never use any other time of the year, so I'm a little scared of it.                                            Then it's time for the cutting board and the big knife. 
     Next, the bell peppers.  Besides in salsa, I hate bell peppers.  No... really, I hate bell peppers. I don't understand how anyone can think they are a food product... blech... But, they have to be there for good salsa, so I grow them in my garden.  This one time of the year, I cut out the cores, pull out the seeds, and slice up the bell peppers.  I chop a big bowl full to add to the pot.  
  Then it's time for the onions.  I like to use the whte ones because they have so much flavor and the purple ones because they're pretty.  This used to be a time for tears, but not any more.  Here's my trick!  I wear my motorcycle sunglasses!  They're made to keep all air out, and they also keep out onion air!  No more tears... and you look cool while you're chopping.  I plop them in, then stop before 6 because it always seems like maybe that's too many.     

     Finally the hot part, the jalapenos!  My jalapeno plants are always prolific for me. I try to remember to wear a rubber glove, I've learned the importance of this lesson more than once.    (I only had to learn the lesson about not leaving the seeds in one time.) Chop... plop... chop... plop...
     I love stirring it at this point.  It's frothy and chunky.  There's a lot, so I have to use the really big wooden spoon.
     Time to open the Tostitos and have a taste.
     Whoa!  It has a kick!  I remember (once again) that the fresh jalapenos are so much hotter and that I shouldn't have used a whole quart.
     And (once again... seriously... every year) I get my other big pot and divide it so that I have more room.  I add another 7-9 tomatoes and another bell pepper.stir... taste... taste again... Whew!  I make another blender full of tomatoes, another half an onion... taste... taste again... and again... a little salt... again... again... spoonful of garlic... taste again... again... again... again... again...
     Ready for the freezer bags!

For now... I think this one is not for sale.  I think it has a home in my home.