Aware of my chronic and relentless fruit fly problems Karen (of the screaming hot peppers) forwarded some post about the perfect fruit fly bait. Aperol. The only fruit that got trapped here was me. Twenty dollars and 48 hours later there are no fruit flies in the drink and the wall-to-wall crowd of fruit flies in my house are still interested only in my red wine. Or, maybe they’re just red wine drinkers. Hm. I know people like this.
Unless this is just some way to get me to buy Aperol. If so, it worked.
For the 39th time. I will not make sauce ever again. There is just no point to it. I see all those tomatoes and buy them but then, the process. Oy. And in the end it’s just, well, sauce. And thin sauce at that. Since I wrote this I’ve made yet another batch. I get bags of them from the CSA and I have no idea what to do with them. If I leave them on my counter they go bad pretty quickly and they’re breeding grounds for fruit flies. Literally minutes after I put the tomatoes on the counter there’s a fog of them having a sex party complete with disco balls and poppers.
This was really an exercise in preventing all the produce I have from: A. Rotting, and/or B. Becoming breeding grounds for fruit flies, and it was also simply experimentation with food. I decided to create a macerated vegetable salad, or maybe it might end up more like gazpacho or ceviche, I’d be good with any outcome.
I didn’t want the tomatoes sitting there any longer being the love shack, providing nourishment and nursery for the fruit flies and by making the “salad” this way I could dispatch the offending produce in no time and not think about it again until I was ready to eat which could be later today, tomorrow or whenever.
I used only the tomatoes that were already going over to the dark side, cutting out the soft, fuzzy, discolored stuff, sliced what was left into chunks and added sliced peppers and onions. I used the yellow peppers that came in my CSA of which I was very leery since I have a vivid memory of my mother slicing yellow peppers when we were kids not realizing that the palms of her hands were gonna burn for hours. After all my precautions I thought to taste it and it wasn’t hot.
I doused the whole thing with vinegar, salt and loads of pepper and let it sit overnight. I had it for lunch 2 days in a row. Adding cottage cheese to the horror of my colleagues. It was delicious.
This morning I read in Bon Appetit the “new trend” of macerated vegetable salads. I am prepared.
I have, as I may have mentioned, a fruit fly issue from time to time. I have all sorts of produce lounging around on my counter for various reasons; I don’t like to refrigerate tomatoes, I have to let these nectarines ripen at room temperature, garlic and shallots shouldn’t be refrigerated, I forgot to put the limes away, a kohlrabi I have no idea what to do with, and then with all of that produce comes my second favorite house pet, the fruit fly.
In the interest of ridding myself of the miasma of fruit flies that hover around me when I am drinking red wine I decided to rid myself of some of the produce lying about. I had a fair amount of roma tomatoes and decided to make sauce with them. While it is fairly simple, it’s a whole lotta work. There’s a quick boil, the skins have to come off (though I have to admit the peels come off really neatly) the meat of the tomato just poops out if you squeeze them right and then some slow simmering. I dispense with the foley food mill my mother would have used, for the blender.
I got about a cup of sauce from an afternoon of messy work. Not the most profitable use of my time but I got rid of the fruit flies. Kinda.
There is absolutely no more delicious fruit than the nectarine. None. The trick of the thing, though, is that they must be really really really ripe. My friend Cindy eats them on the crunchy side. This is wrong. Just plain not right. I wait for summer nectarines and then let them ripen on my counter until they have the consistency of the skin on the back of my grandmother’s upper arm. Gotta.
At that point they go in the refrigerator until they are cold. They must be eaten with care because they are really messy. And they stain. Like plums, they stain any and everything and nothing gets the stain out. But while greedily eating one over the sink and letting the juice sluice, as it will, down the drain is my preferred method of consumption, a more careful approach of cutting it into pieces and daintily eating each section allows you to actually savor all that luscious liquid.
Fruit flies can be the downside of keeping them on the counter. Nothing I know of can get rid of fruit flies and they are a goddam bother when you’re trying to swill a glass of red wine. But it’s a small price to pay for the complete perfection of a nectarine.
The one pictured here was sweeter than honey. It was exquisite.