Gifts from My Garden

Homemade Gift

StreuselI had a great summer, you?

Summer was a little hotter than I would have liked but it brought me fun things like ducks, farmer’s markets, swimming, block parties and maybe best of all yummy produce from the garden.

I discovered gardening is something both my daughter and I enjoy (although I could take less whining about weeding).  We never truly had a garden before (although I have a beautiful and large raised bed) because we had an 80 lb. Doberman.  Dobermans, especially the ones named Max, like eating all the things you try to grow in a garden.  After a long spoiled life, our doberman, Max, died back in December.  When he died I realized a lot of freedoms; freedom from closing trash cans, freedom from closing toilet lids, freedom from spending 5 minutes every morning picking up every little thing around before leaving for work but this summer I discovered another freedom…

Freedom to plant things that actually grow because they are not getting pooped on or dug up!

This time of year is so much fun with all of the wonderful things coming from the garden.  Most notable is the 8 lb. cabbage my daughter grew with the Bonnie Cabbage Program through her school.  In addition to the lettuce, strawberries, kale, cauliflower, beets and zucchini, another notable delight was the roma tomato plant that grew so out of control, one tomato cage and three additional tomato stakes couldn’t hold it up!  The sugar pumpkins are still to come.

Garden Gifts

I was drowning in Roma tomatoes so I decided to make my own pasta sauce using my pressure cooker.  This then required that I make my own pasta (using duck eggs of course).  It was a tasty combination.


Pressure Cooker Garden Tomato Sauce

taken from America’s Test Kitchen’s Pressure Cooker Perfection

makes about 2.5 cups


3 lbs of roma tomatoes, tops removed

3 T. olive oils (I used avocado oil)

3 garlic cloves minced

1 T. tomato paste

1/2 c. dry red wine

1/2 c. water

salt and pepper to taste

2 T. chopped fresh basil (I used dried oregano I had harvested from my garden earlier)

Tomato Sauce

In my 6 quart pressure cooker, I added the garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper to the oil and let it cook on medium high for about a minute, I added the wine and water and then placed the tomatoes trimmed top down.  Quickly place the pressure cooker lid on, lock it down and crank the heat to high.  Once it reaches pressure, cook on medium high for 30 minutes and then quickly remove from heat.  Quick release the pressure (away from your face) and once the pressure has all been released remove the lid.  With tongs stir the tomatoes, removing the skins as you do.  They are quite visible and easily come off.  Cook this mixture on medium high for about 15 minutes to cook down the liquid and add the oregano or basil.


Homemade Pasta

from Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Bag

serves 3 to 4 people


1 1/2 c. semolina flour

2 duck eggs

1/2 t. salt

2 T. olive oil (I used avocado oil)

1 T. water (2 T. if using 2 chicken eggs)


Combine the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment mix them until combined.  Then change to the kneading hook and knead for about 10 minutes until a smooth ball of dough forms.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.  Roll small chunks of dough out one at a time and either roll the dough very thin and hand cut into noodles or use a pasta roller.  If using a pasta roller, run through the roller each time using a thinner setting until you get the thinness you desire.  Then roll through the cutting side of the pasta roller.  Spread the pasta out on the counter and let it dry while you prepare all of the pasta.  I boiled all of this pasta right away, it cooks up in just a few minutes and tastes great with fresh sauce.

Fresh Pasta



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