Monday, August 29, 2011

My Favorite Salsa

I finally have tomatoes.

I have literally been waiting months for these things. Every time I would complain to garden folk back home in Oregon about my plants not producing tomatoes yet, they would remind me that it takes a lot of heat to turn those little orbs red. But after months of hundred degree weather, I was beginning to doubt whether heat had anything to do with their delay, and maybe my poor gardening skills were to blame. So imagine my delight when I recently ventured out to the garden to tame my basil jungle and discovered these cheery faces.


Of course, having tomatoes has already presented its share of garden evils (lest we forget the zucchini larva saga so soon). Just recently I went out to monitor their progress and discovered this seemingly innocent caterpillar friend:


After talking to it for a few seconds in a baby voice (What are youuu doing out here, little guy?), I crouched down next to it just in time to choke on my words and spout curses towards all things garden-related in the South.


It had a stinger. Or a hook or a spiky tail. I don't really know what it is. And I don't really care if that spike is completely harmless and doesn't have venom in it. That caterpillar had already eaten half of the leaves from one of my plants, and scared some fourth-grade level swear words out of my mouth, and thus earned a spot on the pavement for the birds to devour. I think gardening is hardening my heart. And making me hate the outdoors.

So to sum up: I have a caterpillar with a horn for a tail, but I also have tomatoes, which means I can make my favorite salsa. It is as follows...

3-4 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped (or one can of diced tomatoes)
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño
1 lime
1/2 an onion (optional)
A lot of cilantro

Roast the jalapeño and garlic (unpeeled) in a pan until soft and slightly charred.

Once cooled, remove the garlic peels and slice open the jalapeño to remove the seeds and stem. Throw the jalapeño, garlic and tomatoes in a blender (Andrew will later complain that this salsa is too "hot" due to the five seeds I left in the blender):

Add the Roma tomatoes (or can of diced tomatoes) and the onion and purée to your desired consistency:

Pour the salsa in a bowl and add salt and the juice of one lime:

Then add a whole lot of chopped cilantro:

Stir and serve.

Two things I have learned from this recipe: You can never have too much cilantro and nothing with a spike for a tail should be allowed to live (case in point), except maybe a Stegosaurus.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Laundry Room Update

Our laundry room debacle is officially over, and I stayed true to my word. At least the part of my word where I said I would paint my laundry room pink -- not so much the part about actually doing laundry more frequently.

Before: tattered walls, dust everywhere, androgynous decor.  

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After: overpowering estrogen-haven of pinks, pastels and florals.




Though this room is typically littered with manly items like Army uniforms and muddy boots, I appreciate the feminine backdrop while I neglect Andrew's dirty socks and curse the smell they emit lovingly and gracefully launder and fold crisp linens and hum a soft melody.

I also think my laundry room decorating choices may represent my latent desire to decorate a nursery, and, apparently, I'm pulling for a girl. No need to worry, though -- I'm merely speaking about a hypothetical nursery for my non-baby.  I stopped short of hanging a mobile of coat hangers from the ceiling, so I think I'm good.

P.S. Thanks Carmen and Jenny for your ideas. I owe you one scoop of Tide bleach in exchange for your laundry room advice.