Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tomato Water (Page 88)

RECIPE #1028

  • Date: Saturday, September 12, 2009 -- 2pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B-


I am trying to make some progress lately on the Soups section of The Book, and this recipe is a component for one of the recipes in that section. To make this tomato water I took 5 pounds of tomatoes and pureed them with salt in a food processor. I poured the puree into a sieve lined with cheesecloth, suspended over a big pot. I gathered the ends of the cheesecloth to form a sack, then I tied the sack to a wooden spoon and suspended it in the pot. I let the cheesecloth sack-of-tomatoes sit like that for 8 hours in the refrigerator. Then I discarded the sack containing the puree. What had dripped out of the sack into the pot was the tomato water! It's hard to grade this recipe. On the one hand, if your objective was to capture the essence of tomato in something with the texture and consistency of water, then this recipe certainly does that! On the other hand, I'm not sure exactly why you would want to do that. This tomato water had a specific purpose, which I wasn't too impressed by (that will be my next post). I can imagine that the tomato water could be used for other purposes with more success though. For instance, if you wanted to incorporate tomato into a martini, or other drink, this could be the way to do it! My special gentleman's reaction upon seeing the finished tomato water made me laugh. He looked into the pot, took a little taste, then said, "Ten dollars of tomatoes turned into that?" He was not impressed. So, did I enjoy eating this? No, not really. If I needed tomato essence in water form, would I make this again? Absolutely. The recipe, without a doubt, captured the flavor of tomato. It was shocking actually to sip something with such a thin consistency that tasted so overwhelmingly of tomato. Really, shocking. In that respect this recipe was very impressive.

The recipe is here.

I had chocolate pudding for dinner tonight, and I ate it in bed. That pretty much summarizes how my day went! My 340ish business calculus students have an exam on Thursday, which meant that I spent much of the day today writing the exam (ick!) and another big chunk of the day helping students review for the exam (much more fun!). Add to that two and half hours of lecturing, and the day was jam-packed. At 7pm I was sitting in my office, starving, and desperately wishing that my special gentleman hadn't eaten the emergency ramen supply in my desk. I couldn't leave until the exams were finished though. Cheating is a big problem in this class, so there have to be four versions of everything. Writing one exam is painful enough, especially when it includes multiple choice (which is much harder to write!), but the process of modifying one exam into four is particularly painful. By the time I got home I was dysfunctionally hungry and just wanted to eat the first thing that sounded good. That thing turned out to be chocolate pudding. So I had chocolate pudding for dinner. And although I wouldn't try to argue that it was a balanced meal, it did improve my mood considerably! There's nothing like a big bowl of hot chocolate pudding to put everything into perspective!

Now it's time to make answer keys for all four versions. I only hope that I don't find any mistakes in the exams! I went through each version carefully, twice! But I don't really trust myself when I am in the state of hunger that I was in...

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