Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

     I am a control freak.  I admit it and there are many times, when I admit it proudly.  I come from a long line of control freaks and  at my age, it is doubtful that I am going to change.  I like order, a sense of structure and thoroughly believe that by setting out my clothes the night before and getting all of tomorrow's lunches made before I go to sleep tonight will make me a happier person come morning.

     Which is why this new endeavor of mine is testing the outer most limits of my world.  It sounded like a good plan.  With Dear Daughter back in school, I needed to find something to do with my time.  I needed to get out there, meet some people, be productive, add an entry to my resume.  So, I was accepted to be a substitute teacher at one of our local elementary and middle schools.  "Piece of cake," I thought.  I could pick and choose when I wanted to work.  The schedule worked well around the family.  I calculated just how many days a month I needed to work in order to meet my new financial goal.  This was going to be a cinch...

     What I didn't calculate was the effect of the loss of control that I would experience.  Here is why...on any given morning, I wake up at 6:00 a.m. and dress.  In "pre-sub" life, getting ready meant slapping on a pair of sweats and a sweatshirt.  In my new "sub" world, getting ready now means, putting on make-up, doing my hair and donning something remotely professional.  Luckily, the night before I have settled on what to wear and have my lunch already made.

     An hour later, just as Dear Daughter heads to the bus stop, I start watching the phone.  Is it going to ring today?  God forbid if Dear Husband calls to wish us a good day.  "Good grief, man," I growl into the phone, "Don't you know the school could call at any moment. If the phone is busy, then I lose the chance of working today."

     If I get the call, I am out the door immediately.  Past 7:15, the more time that passes, means the less chance that I will get called.  No call by 7:45,  means that I can head back upstairs and change clothes once more.  Then I go through a period where I am totally ticked off that I didn't get called.  I exerted the effort to get ready - the least that school could do is give me an assignment!  "Why did they call so-and-so for that class instead of me?  I bet this is because I had a doctors appointment on Monday when they called and now they are paying me back."

Then I switch gears and think, "Yeah!  I get a free day!"  However, then I realize that it is not really a free day.  I have to decide what needs to get done today because tomorrow, I could be called.  What errands have to be run?  Does the house need to be cleaned?  When was the last time I washed my hair?

     So you see, for a person who craves structure and control, this is driving me crazy!  Really, I have lists for everything.  I know that on Mondays, I clean the house.  On Tuesdays, I go to the Farmers Market, etc.  In my calmer moments, I tell myself that this is a good experience.  I need to be less of a control person.  I need to just go with the flow.  I have created a master list of things that have to be done so if I do not work, then I can refer to my list and give my life some purpose.

     That is exactly what happened this morning.  I just knew that I was going to get called.  I could feel it.  But I didn't.  So I changed clothes, stripped the sheets off of the beds, did some laundry and worked for three hours on a program for the end of year swim team awards banquet - that will occur... in March 2013.  Hey, what if I start working a lot and then I do not get the program done?  I might as well start now.

     But the house is smelling really good right now as I have some comfort food cooking in the oven.  Slow-roasted roma tomatoes have become a favorite of mine and I make them at every opportunity.  These little morsels are downright addicting and so incredibly easy to make.  I think that the aromatherapy is doing me some good.  Perhaps, there is a reason that I am not working today.  Perhaps, I just need to let go of the things that are completely out of my control.  Tomorrow, I won't care if I do not get called....yeah, right!

No post complete without a photo of Dear Daughter - this one taken in Bad Krueznach last Sunday

Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes
adapted from Ina Garten - Barefood Contessa

Look at these wonderful tiny Roma tomatoes that come from the Netherlands.  Even though they are bursting with flavor right now, they will be incredible after roasting for 2 hours!

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper.

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and core and seed the tomatoes.  Add the tomatoes to the olive oil mixture and mix to coat.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on the lined cookie sheet. Drizzle the remaining oil mixture over the tomatoes.

Place in the oven for 2 - 2 1/2 hours.  I don't have a picture yet of the finished product as mine are still in the oven!  I am telling you...these are really, really good.  I just pop them in my mouth!

Updated two hours later:  OMG - I am popping them like PEZ.  Who cares if I didn't work today!

But if you want to experience a truly incredible sandwich - try replacing normal tomatoes with these in your next BLT.  Bacon, Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula (instead of lettuce) sandwiched between two slices of toasted bread and slathered with a good quality mayonnaise - wow, that is good!

Here is another idea:  Slather one side of a bagel with cream cheese and then top with tomatoes.

Have any pasta ideas?

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