I am annoyed about being sick, but also fine with how it simplified my weekend, and relieved that I heeded my gut in refraining from making plans to head east, even though I'd looked with longing at the Old Farmer's Ball program for today (Mount Hills! Good Man of Cambridge! Picking Up Sticks (which contains sheepskin heys, which one teacher regards as proof "that hallucinogenic drugs were available in the 17th Century")!). Instead, I got up early, fried pancakes and eggs, and then went back to bed. Then the rest of the day was split between making phone calls, cleaning, tennis-watching, and catching up on some of the yardwork. Having belatedly read the full tag for the "Sky's the Limit" rosebush, I shaped its water basin and tied the two longest branches to stakes; admired the new yellow buds and the green tomatoes nearby; planted the geranium, tomato, and cactus cuttings; yanked and clipped and dug and hauled...
The subject line is adapted from Dawn Potter's recent post about Keats. "Dirt has its beauties" also would've worked, come to think of it.
My plan for dinner had been to make a tomato tarte tatin, but that was before I realized the box in my freezer contained not puff pastry but regular pie crust. Plus, after I finished dealing with the onions, I was feeling less inclined to follow the rest of the steps. So instead I shifted to Emeril's recipe for an onion and tomato pie, and while I didn't have most of the ingredients on hand, it provided enough guidance to get things good enough for my dinner plate. The final mash-up was along these lines:
* Chop one onion plus a couple of slices salvaged from a chunk in the crisper. Sautee in butter until soft.
* Defrost one frozen pie crust in microwave. Frown at soggy mess, abandon attempt to unroll it, and mash it across bottom of pie pan.
* Dump foil and pie weights on top and bake at 375 F for ten minutes or so.
* Chop half of a tomato. Realize the recipe probably advises slices instead. Sure enough. Slice other half. Season with the dregs of thyme-laced salt a friend had given me for Christmas two years ago, plus some black pepper.
* Startle the bloke reading in his car just outside my driveway (I'm guessing a tourist) as I scamper out in my nightgown to snip some basil and thyme.
* Mix one egg with the dregs (about 4 T) of Duke's mayo from the fridge. (Today was a great day for using things up; I also pitched some ancient spices into the compost bowl and shredded the iffy salted lemons in the sink.)
* Gingerly pour pie weights (aka old beans I've used for more than a decade -- probably nearly two) into mixing bowl and collect the ones hopping onto the floor.
* Scatter some panko over the crust.
* Lay the slices of tomato on the crumbs, in a pattern like a quilted star. Spoon half of the cooked onion bits into the spaces between.
* Scatter herbs and a heap of gorgonzola cheese over the veg. Drizzle with half of the egg-mayo sauce.
* More tomato. More onion. More sauce. More breadcrumbs. Some olives.
* Bake for 30 minutes? I set the timer for an hour, but took it out earlier when it looked and smelled done enough. And then ate half of it.