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The Splendid Table

Tomato Fail Times Two

Tomato 2

This year’s tomato harvest is dismal. Pathetic even.

Last year the output was smaller than usual so we figured it was time for a new plan. Probably that blight thing, so give up on planting tomatoes in the garden for a year. Try pots on the deck. Fresh tomatoes just steps from the back door. Not so much. Mostly dry, hot summer punctuated by periods of deluge. Plants either too dry (even watering multiple times a day) or too wet.

What to do about spaghetti sauce!

Costco to the rescue!

Tomato 1

This has to be the solution, right?

Then The Splendid Table re-posts a story on canned tomatoes. Clearly, I’ve been dupped by a PR scam. But I’m certainly not going to throw away this jumbo can of tomatoes.

Maybe a little extra vodka in the Pasta alla Vecchia Bettola will cover any shortcomings. And maybe put some of that vodka in a glass rather than in the sauce. . .

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Mmmm — Better Than A Watson Dish

In the relatively recent past, IBM’s uber-computer Watson devised recipes, churning out food combinations with the potential for finding interesting flavor mixes. Cognitive cooking is the term.

Where’s the joy of discovery in that? Making the best use of ingredients for wise resource allocation, I’m in. But adding another layer between person and dinner doesn’t ring true to me.

That’s why this dinner is a special delight. The hubs amalgamated a bunch of leftovers into a casserole. Here’s the result:

casserole (2)

And here’s the unlikely recipe: Half a fennel bulb, a few potatoes, some fresh mozzarella, half a pound of Italian sausage (cooked and crumbled), and an onion. Cut/slice as desired. Layer in an oven-proof dish. Cover and bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Then 30 minutes more. Then uncovered to brown for a final 10 minutes.

A.maz.ing. Would never have thought of it. May I be so bold as to say Lynn Rossetto Kasper would approve. Splendid indeed.

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