The coolest thing about getting joy from cooking, or food in general, is having friends that share the sentiment. Better yet, having friends that give you cool stuff. My friend, colleague and garden mentor JC arrived at my office door the other day with a present - a lovely little mason jar filled with oven-dried tomatoes packed in oil. He also came bearing the recipe. I'm guilty of getting mired down in culinary ruts and always excited to break out with anew idea. As I've never really managed to have a successful garden (this year was a big step in the right direction) and my first experience with a CSA was last year during the tomato blight, I haven't had occasion to oven roast the juicy little buggers. I still haven't, of course, but now I know how, and better yet I got to make a fantastic meal with the fruits of someone else's roasting labor!
I came home one night last week ready to kill I was so hungry. Thanks to the jar of tomatoes, some CSA spinach and a handful of feta (plus some other flavors of course) I was able to construct a fantastic pasta dish in the time it took me to boil water and cool the pasta. Actually, I even had time to play a few turns of scrabble on my iPhone (super, super addicting...do.not.start.playing. But if you do, track me down and you can beat me like Western One does). See, I have proof. (and before you look at the clock and think I'm being a drama queen for the murderous hunger at 8pm, we never "sprung" our kitchen clock ahead, so it was really almost 9.) Take that you semi-fake/30 minute crap food celeb cooks - real, local fantastic dinner in 27 minutes!