Tomatoes, jalapenos, and writing: progress on diverse fronts

Despite the title of this post, I have made a lot of progress on my writing goals in the last week — but the amounts of tomatoes, zucchinis and various spicy peppers ripening in our garden at the moment (not just jalapenos *g*) have made it necessary for me to take some longer breaks from writing in order to ensure that the harvest does not go to waste.

Some of the things I’ve done besides writing in the last week:

– 8 jars / bottles of BBQ sauce (made with fresh tomatoes and garden chillies)

– 5 jars sweet pickle relish with zucchini (turned out much better than my last attempt!)

– 7 jars jalapeno jelly (but they don’t seem to be jelling right and may need to be redone)

– frozen stewed tomatoes

– frozen tomato consomme

The last is something I highly recommend to anyone who is suffering from a glut of tomatoes. It’s a lot of work, but when you make a soup in winter from the almost clear essence of concentrated tomato, it’s like liquid summer. The taste is amazing. If anyone is interested, I will try to provide instructions in a future post.

That’s pretty much it on the harvesting front. On the writing front:

– I got Beyond the Waters of the World back from the editor today, but I haven’t had any time to go through the edits. In any case, I definitely seem to be on track for a publication date of August 31.

– Still working on the cover design for the first Alaska story, “In the Middle of Nowhere With Company” — and still not willing to share. 🙂 Soon!

– Got another 5,000 words done on the new version of Chameleon in a Mirror. That might sound like a lot, but I got past the section where I needed completely new material and have found myself typing in very similar scenes to what I had in the previous version. Makes me wonder sometimes how much use this system of mine is of rewriting from scratch. 🙂 OTOH, there are a number of times when the retyping inspires me to take things in a new direction, or add new details, or something else that seems to make the strategy worthwhile.

And now a storm is coming in and I have to go close windows …

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7 thoughts on “Tomatoes, jalapenos, and writing: progress on diverse fronts”

  1. We had an impressive summer storm here a few days ago … tremendous lightning strikes … no rain though.

    ‘Yes please’ to the tomato consomme recipe.

    Sounds like a wondrous amount of multi-tasking going on over there.

  2. Thanks for visiting, Ruth, and for commenting on my covers (definitely a work in progress). Your covers are amazing! Inspirational! I can’t wait to see your next cover. May your words come as smoothly as all those tomatoes that sprout in your garden.

    1. Well, I didn’t do all of them, Beth, and the ones I did do, my daughter did most of the work! 🙂 For the two novels, I paid a cover artist. The next cover should be ready for feedback soon!

  3. Your Alaskan story sounds right up my alley – at least from the teaser! I like adventure/survival stories. Congrats on the garden plenty! I didn’t put a garden in this year because we knew we’d be traveling quite a lot and would neglect it terribly. I’ll miss having all those tomatoes!

    When I become overwhelmed with tomatoes, I rough chop them and cook them down with bay leaf, salt, a bit of olive oil, green onion, garlic, cilantro, and pepper. Then I add water and simmer for an hour or so until all is cooked down. Mix up a small cornstarch paste and stir in. Then blend in the blender after cooling a bit. You can strain through cheesecloth if you don’t like seeds …. I leave them in.
    Return to pot and stir in some heavy cream. It’s the best tomato soup ever! (If my tomatoes lack color, I stir in a bit of tomato paste to redden it up)

    How do you cook yours down and store for keeping over the winter? I’ve not canned before… but would love to have ‘real’ tomato broth to add to my soups and stews.

    1. Sounds like a very yummy tomato sauce, Nadja! I don’t can the tomato sauces I make, I freeze them. I just uploaded pics of the consomme process to Flickr, but it’s very late now in Central Europe, so maybe I can post about the process tomorrow. 🙂

  4. I know what you mean about these “revision systems.” I wonder a lot, as well. Like you, it seems that there are similar scenes that I re-create, and I have decided it’s because those scenes belong in that novel, if not always in the same place or in the same way. And I’ve also found myself going in new directions after pasting in a scene or two that I thought only needed little revision.

    Great work on the gardening harvest. I would be interested in a post on the tomato consomme, although I am not suffering a glut of tomatoes.

    Karen

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