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My Mobile Home Gourmet Blog

Sunday 2022.10.2

October is Here

October holds a little significance for me.

On October 10th, 2020 I cut down a former neighbor's tree. I hated that tree, partly because I so disliked that neighbor and her barking dogs, but also because she planted that tree to take away some of my gardening space. She moved away and the new neighbor asked me to cut it down. I was delighted to do so.

On October 25th, 2017 I bought my Pedego pedal assist electric bicycle. As I mentioned in last month's blog, the temperature outside was 103°F (39°C) that day.

There is one better reason to enjoy October. It is a month in which I watch Halloween-related movies. Not all have a Halloween theme. A Comedy of Terrors with Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff is one example. The Addams Family movies are another. But they are macabre in a comedic sort of way and I enjoy them. Movies like Frankenstein and Dracula are spooky, but I prefer comedy. On October 31st I always watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A new acquisition, at the recommendation of a friend, is Monster House. I'll watch it soon.

The Weather is Changing

The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. I did a new inventory of my freezer. I've been working on using up the foods in there. It has been weeks since I added anything new. It will be soup weather soon. I can feel it in the air.

Such a Deal

On Thursday I ordered another case of Cento brand tomato paste from Amazon. 24 12-ounce cans for $57.11. I used a $10 gift certificate from Bing (I get points for searches) to bring the cost down to $47.11. Free shipping. That's $1.96 per can. The local grocery store sells 6-ounce cans for $1.99. So for about the same price I'm getting double the tomato paste. I make a lot of Marinara and Pizza Sauce, especially in winter.

Of course, this is why brick and mortar stores are slowly disappearing from the land. They can't compete with web site stores like Amazon. I sort of feel a little bad about that, but I also need to consider myself. I'm 71 years old. I consider my immune system to be slightly compromised by my weight and my need to use catheters. So if I can do less shopping among people who might have the flu or Covid, why not?

I'm nearing my next level of 10,000 points on Bing. At that level I can cash in my points for another $10 gift certificate for Amazon. I'll buy a case of Cento San Marzano tomatoes. I currently have some in the freezer, which is another story.

The last time I ordered tomatoes they were not sold packed in a case. The cans were loosely shipped in a box. Every can was dented, some worse than others. I couldn't take the risk of bacteria getting into the cans and making me sick; so I opened each can and vacuum sealed the tomatoes and purée in pouches and froze them. And this leads to an experiment…

Marinara From Tomato Paste

What is tomato paste? According to Wikipedia, tomato paste is made by cooking tomatoes to remove water, filtering to remove seeds and skin, and then cooking a little longer to remove more water. Then it is canned.

What is pasta sauce? Tomatoes cooked with added ingredients to enhance flavor, such as onion, garlic, parsley, basil and seasoning such as salt and oregano, and maybe red pepper flakes if you're into that sort of thing. I'm not. Crushed whole tomatoes add texture, which I like, but are they necessary? Maybe not.

So, technically, couldn't I simply put some tomato paste in a pot, add some water and other ingredients like those mentioned above, and cook it long enough to bloom the flavors to make Marinara pasta sauce? With 24 cans of tomato paste (they arrived yesterday), this will be an easy experiment to try.

Also, add a little less water and more oregano and you have pizza sauce. Speaking of which, I remember reading somewhere that some pizzerias don't use sauce at all. They simply spread tomato paste on the dough before adding cheese and other toppings, then bake.

Preparing for Winter

You might have noticed in some of my later videos a printed list fastened to the door of my refrigerator with magnets. That's an inventory of the foods inside the freezer (as well as some foods out in the shed). I have plenty of chicken trim; so I'll be making chicken stock again this winter. I have only three cups of stock left.

In January I gave myself a New Year's Resolution to use up the foods in the freezer before I added more. I did okay for a while, but then I succumbed to the temptation of sales, such as pork shoulder I can use for making sausages. I still have plenty of that meat; so I'll be making more sausages too.

And Another Scheduled Power Outage

I can't complain. My twin brother and his wife were in the direct path of Hurricane Ian. Their home sustained only minor damage — a little water coming up through a closet floor and some screens lost from the "cage" that surrounds their pool. They lost power, but they have a natural gas powered generator attached to their home; so they had plenty of electricity from that.

In my case, the electrical company will be upgrading a utility pole. This time the electricity will be off from 7:00PM on Tuesday until 8:00AM the following day. I'll be prepared. The only nuisance, and it's minor, is resetting the clocks afterward.