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Time for Resting and Slow Roasting Tomatoes

“rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor
— such is my idea of happiness.”
Leo Tolstoy

Our weekend was a whirl of work and commitments, a 24-hour flu and visits with dear friends, but today was a delicious blend of rest and creativity.

We gave ourselves the entire morning – a long time when you wake at 4:30 a.m. – to do whatever we wished. No jobs, no chores, no demands, just simple pleasures and quiet moments.

Bear made us cuppas and then we disappeared to our corners. I hunkered down in my office, curled up on the couch with a blanket, gorgeous magazines, a new book from my friend Sue, and a scented candle flickering cheerily on my desk.

I can’t remember the last time I spent an entire morning reading. It was like reuniting with a beloved friend. I lingered over gorgeous images, closed my eyes and mulled over thought-provoking words, smiled to myself at the sheer luxury of these hours of alone time to restore my mind, spirit, body, and creativity.

When the afternoon finally rolled around, I was peaceful and excited, ready to tackle my chores.

I headed out to my gardens, luxuriating in hot sunshine on my skin after days of dark skies. I gathered tomatoes and asparagus, checked on my late crop of green bell peppers and chillies, chatted with the dogs then headed back to the house.

The afternoon was spent working my way through boxes of tomatoes and capsicum, bags of chillies, bowls of pears and grapes. My dehydrators are humming again, filled with fruit and veg that will be dried by morning. A big pot of roasted tomato garlic sauce is cooling on the counter, almost ready to be packaged and put in the freezer. Chillies were turned into a luscious and spicy Tomato Chilli Jam. Now I can rest easy knowing all the fresh produce has been taken care of.

With all those gorgeous roast veggies, dinner was a no-brainer: pasta tossed with roughly chopped tomatoes, silky nuggets of roasted garlic, and freshly grated Parmesan-Romano. Simple but scrumptious.

Now it’s time to bid goodnight to the world, and crawl in bed for a bit more reading before sleep.

What is the best book you’ve read this year? xo

Slow-roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce


ripe tomatoes
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, etc)
heads of garlic


1. Preheat oven to 450 F (250 C)
2. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
3. Quarter tomatoes and spread in one layer, skin side down, on baking sheet. Scatter with fresh herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and add sea salt and ground pepper.
4. Roast for 90 minutes in center of oven. If tomatoes are in large chunks, you may need to roast an additional 30 minutes.
5. 20 minutes before tomatoes are done, place tray of garlic heads in the oven.
6. Remove from oven and let tomatoes cool 5-10 minutes.
7. While tomatoes are cooling, use rolling pin to crush roasted garlic and press out the soft, cooked cloves. Pick out any extra bits of paper.
8. In large blender or food processor, puree tomatoes and garlic in batches. Pouring into a large pot when each batch is done.
9. Whisk sauce together and let sit 30 minutes for flavors to meld and sauce to cool.
10. Pour into freezer containers and freeze until ready to use.

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Jeanne Horak - Oh I want your morning!! Can’t remember when last I luxuriated in doing nothing – no blogging, no photo editing, no recipe development. no chores!

Maureen - I can’t remember the last time I did that but I’m penciling it in on my calendar right now. Your tomatoes look delicious!

Turkey's For Life - Mmmm, pasta and cherry tomatoes – we’re just waiting for our weather to warm up a tad more before we indulge in those sorts of simple pleasures. Your photo looks so tempting though. And when was the last time I spent a whole morning reading? Wow, can’t remember! Must put that one right, too. 🙂

Joanne (eats well with others) - Sounds like a lovely slow and lazy day! The tomatoes are just so vibrant and stunning…perfect for pasta sauce!

Tandy Sinclair - A day to do nothing would be bliss right now. Seems like there is a change of season bug going around as we have had sore throats here as well!

Kim - Liv Life - Oh my… I sure hope you are feeling better!! Our house has been struck with colds, coughs and strep the last week, but now we’re all on the mend. And just look at those tomatoes!! I just love tomato season, though I actually never really liked tomatoes until I hit my 40’s. Something happened then and now I simply cant get enough of them. These look gorgeous. feel better!

Anna Johnston - Fabulous way to spend a day. 🙂 Absolutely loving your pictures, the roast tomato and that bowl of spaghetti, screen licking goooooood!
Best book I’ve read this year… I dunno, haven’t actually done a whole lot of reading, mostly just silly love yarns.

Krista - Doing this made me realize how much I miss it, @liz_posmyk:disqus, AND how much I need it. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing about your favorite book of the year when you find it. 🙂

Liz Posmyk - Glorious! I definitely need to find more time to just sit and read, during the day, as I’m too tired at night. I don’t have a favourite this year, as yet. Stand by : )

Krista - I know you read voraciously, @wanderingsheila:disqus so I’m looking forward to find the book you recommended. 🙂

Krista - I’m the same as you, @disqus_WseMqaTPwi:disqus I rarely remember these things until long after the question has been asked. 🙂

Krista - I’m definitely going to embrace this concept on a regular basis, Val. 🙂 How wonderful to read in such a gorgeous place. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much for those recommendations, @amandamcinerney:disqus 🙂 I will look for them post haste. 🙂

Cathy - Sounds like a perfect day indeed. Good for you Krista for luxuriating in alone time to read. That’s a hard call re a favourite book for this year. I would probably have to pick ‘It Started with a Kiss’ by Lisa Heidke.

Jackie Smith - I drew a complete blank when you asked that question and I know I’ve read some good ones. Just bought The Dove Keepers though after reading about it on another blog, so that should keep me entertained for awhile!

bellini - I love the “do what you want until noon” concept. The last book I read was The Bakers Daughter by Sarah Mooney. What makes it the best book I have read so far this year that I read it over days and days on the beaches of Tulum 🙂

Amanda McInerney - Sounds like a brilliant way to spend the day! I read voraciously & struggle to pick a favourite, but “A Tale For the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki, or “The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick deWitt are right up there.

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