It is tomato glut season and I am lucky to love tomatoes! The weather is getting colder here in Seattle and we have had rain for the last 3 days. This weather makes me think about the cold rainy winter to come and that in turn makes me think about soups and stews, YUM!
With that in mind here is my recipe for an autumn treat:
Roasted Tomato Soup
Put about 2.5 pounds of tomatoes, 2 roughly chopped onions and about 6 - 8 garlic cloves (peeled) in a large bowl
Add about 6 tablespoons of olive oil and make sure that everything has a good coating. Once coated dump out the contents onto a baking tray. Cook in the oven on 450 degrees F for about 20 - 30 minutes, they are finished when the look nice and caramelized!
Once they are done in the oven dump them into a pot add about 32 ounces of stock, 2 - 3 bay leads and about 3 - 4 tablespoons of butter
Cook for 20 - 40 minutes or until the contents has reduced by ⅓, you want a thick mixture.
Remove bay leaves and then use an emersion blender to create a consistent mixture. Add cream to taste (I added about ¼ cup), salt and pepper….Enjoy!
I have been growing orchids for a good 4 years and it is such a rewarding activity. The excitement I feel when I see an orchid about to bloom after waiting sometimes up to a year is pretty awesome. I have added to the collection a lot over the years and have about 40 orchids now. I heat my greenhouse to about 55 degrees F in the winter which does restrict the varieties which I can grow. I don’t grow Phalaenopsis orchids as they cannot handle as they cannot handle temperatures this low.
I have a lot of success with oncidium orchids and grow may different types. When they bloom WOW do they bloom with sometimes 3 - 5 flower stalks covered in bloom.
Oddly enough I do not use any fertilizers at all. I use a timed irrigation on them in my greenhouse which sprays the entire plant, leaves and all. My goal is to create as natural of an environment as possible for them and the greenhouse gives them the level of humidity that they need.
Here are some pictures of my favorites!
After waiting about 3 years I was finally able to get this stunning Cypripedioideae orchid (Slipper Orchid) to bloom and then it bloomed for a second time in less than a few months, lucky me :)
After the moles ate all of my stunning oriental lilies this year I had a lot of space that I needed to fill. I love cut flowers so after doing some research I decided that I would give Dahlias a try. Did you know that the dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963. Also, quite surprisingly, the tubers were grown as a food crop by the Aztecs, I love Wikipedia!
I have always been so impressed when seeing the striking massive Dahlias at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show that I used to go to every year when living in the UK. What always amazed me about Dahlias is that they are perfect, you can stare at them for minutes and still not find a malformed petal.
At the local garden center in Woodinville I was given the choice between close to 100 Dahlia options and frankly I had no idea where to start. In the end I bought a mixed package of Dahlias which had a label indicating that they were good for cut flowers. I also quite liked the idea that I would have no idea what the flower would look like until it bloomed.
WOW, was I not disappointed with the different types.
I am totally addicted to these stunning flowers and now I need to find out if they grow well in Italy too :)