I for sure can not complain about not having anything to do these days, our weekends are filled with all sorts of fun activities like Open Air concerts, family visits, road trips and a special highlight: watching the Seahawks in training camp (thank you Astrid for sharing this special event with me!).
Wow that was quite the experience to see the Hawks train in such an intimate setting – given we were still 2600 people – but that’s quite intimate compared to a regular football stadium which holds an average of 60,000 people. First, 2600 people line up in a Shopping Mall at around 6:00 a.m. to get their wristband, then get shuttled to the training facility and get to watch 1 hour of warm up and 1 hour of game time. If you are one of the patient fans and waited in the first row for 2 hours you might got rewarded with an autograph of one of the rooky players.The highly desired players like Sherman, Lynch and Thomas boogied straight back into the facilities after the game. During the entire training time loud music got blasted through huge speakers and the only one enjoying the music was Sherman who could be seen dancing on the sideline to the tunes. The only high caliber player who walked over to the Kids section and gave autographs was Wilson. He must be the nicest quarterback in NFL history. And for those interested in some gossip: Ciara was also there with her son, contrary to the gossip magazines, all is well between Russell and Ciara!
Astrid’s prediction for this year’s Seahawks chances to get to the Superbowl are not so rosy at this point of time based on her analysis of the pre-season game and this training, I on the other hand want to believe that the lack of a functioning “O-line” (I think that’s the term Astrid used) falls into the “distract the opponent tactic” and we will be sailing through to the Superbowl – why not be positive and think like an American? (I learned the Hawks signed a new offensive trainer this year and he has a completely different offensive tactic than the old coach, hence we are dealing with somewhat of an organized chaos in the “O’line”).
So how do I make the jump to Tomato Jam? Easy peasy – last Saturday Mike, Cara and I spent the day listening to the latest and greatest “chill” bands in our backyard concert venue – Marymoor Park – and were jamming to Glass Animals, The Valley Below, Chet Faker, Saint Motel and Meg Myers. There you got it – we were jamming – hehe! Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick are on the Jam list for Friday in two weeks – the summer that keeps on giving!
To Jam or not to Jam that’s the question when it comes to Tomatoes. This year I didn’t do a good job with my tomato selection, I mainly picked cherry tomato plants and now I have no tomatoes to make pasta sauce but a whole lot of little cherry tomatoes and nobody wants to peel 500 little cherry tomatoes, so a tomato recipe that makes use of the entire tomato including skin would come in handy. Tomato Jam seems to be the answer. There are quite a few Tomato Jam recipes out there and most of them advise that you don’t have to peel the tomatoes. Some of you might get turned off by the “wording” Tomato Jam – don’t fear the Jam – its sweet and savory, absolutely delicious and the verdict to jam or not to jam is absolutely a yes to Tomato Jam. The end result of the below recipe is sooo good that I put it on pretty much everything: Burgers, Steaks, smoked fish, Eggs even crackers with goat cheese and topped with this very eclectic relish.
If you cook a big batch of this relish I would suggest to can it and have jars handy for hostess or home made x-mas gifts. This tomato jam is both savory and sweet and the addition of basil gives it a great “gourmet” taste. I also had some bell peppers in the greenhouse that I also threw into the mix. I like my relish pretty thick and so I cooked the mixture for a couple of hours. depending on how much liquid your tomatoes hold you might have to adjust the cooking time to less or more time if you like your relish thinner or thicker. Make sure you are checking on your relish a little bit more often when it starts to thicken, you don’t want it to burn.
Tomato Jam Recipe
Ingredients: (makes 6 small canning jars)
- 4 pounds plum tomatoes, or other tomato varieties such as grape or cherry
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ cup cider vinegar
- ⅛ cup balsamic vinegar
- Juice of one lemon
- Chop all the vegetables and combine the vegetables, seasoning, sugar, vinegar and lemon in a pot.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture for about two to three hours or until it reduces to a thick jam. Make sure you don’t let it burn. The cooking time depends on the amount of liquid in the variety of tomatoes you use so the timing is not an exact science however the finished product will be about 4 cups (one quart).