Seafood Extravaganza

Oh my, but do I love seafood!

Well, really, I just love food…

And now that I am officially a Food Network addict, I’m always trying new things.

I guess I’ve become a FOODIE. And I’m thrilled. It’s a way to put some adventure in your life without leaving home. (Although I like leaving-home adventures, too.)

But whether I leave home or not, I can’t wait to eat something exciting – or comforting – depending on my mood.

Although that did not come naturally…

My mother was not a good cook. She just wasn’t interested. Besides, she lived on coffee and cigarettes to stay thin. And she had a strict grocery budget. Not the makings of any type of chef. The funny thing is, when I think back, I can’t even remember what we ate. It was that nondescript.

Then I was married forever to a man who had food FEARS. He didn’t like anything pickled, he wouldn’t eat vegetables, and he was so TERRIFIED of mayonnaise that he used to check the trash to make sure I wasn’t tricking him. No salads, no casseroles, just meat and potatoes non-stop. No wonder by the time we parted, we both looked like meatloaves!

Well, not now! (Actually, I don’t even know what HE looks like anymore, but I exist on fantastic food!)

I figure if a food sustains any group of people, anywhere in the world, then it is worth giving a try. I’ve had alligator, baby goat, rabbit, bison, suckling pig, rattlesnake, snails, squid, octopus and more. It’s a bit harder to get into insects, but I do think I tried a chocolate covered cricket once.

At present I am totally digging seafood. Specifically shellfish. And I think I might be craving it because I am perpetually low in zinc due to several surgeries. So bring on the zinc!

One great source is shrimp… oh what lovely food these ugly bugs cook up into!

shrimp

And then there’s oysters.

oysters

Now I never thought one of these would cross my lips, but how wrong I was! I even bought an oyster knife so I could shuck them myself. Love…

So that’s the day’s post. And as far as drawing goes, it is an easy one.

For me, doing portrait sketches are like pedaling a bike uphill. You gotta work at it. But food in the daily journal? That’s coasting downhill for miles. Just relax and feel the breeze in your hair. After all, if you’ve seen one oyster, you’ve seen them all.

But I’ve got another couple portrait sketches lined up for later today. Discipline, you know…

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Marvelous Marinara

If I am obsessed about anything… it has to be TOMATOES.

I love to eat them.

I love to grow them.

I love to paint them.

I love to cook them.

I truly think I have the heart and soul of an Italian. Because besides fresh tomatoes – which are delightful to eat right off the vine – the next best thing is marinara sauce. Who can live without it?? I can’t…

Now I only grow a few plants. Honestly, if you grow them right, a few plants will produce enough tomatoes for a family. And that’s all I can be responsible for. I would feel guilty if I had enough of the ruby fruits for an army. God forbid any go to waste.

So I also grow some parsley, oregano and basil. And when they all come ripe, I pick until I swoon with the fragrance of the Italian saints. I pretend I’m my grandmother while I harvest everything into my upfolded apron and bring it all into the house. Then I plan how to preserve the bounty until the next growing season. What a joy!

So here’s how I make marinara…

marinara

Of course this happened last fall and I’m just now getting it recorded into my sketchbook. No matter…

There’s time to grow tomatoes… and there’s time to DRAW tomatoes. I am fortunate enough to do both as time permits.

And just think… I’ve been eating these harvested fruits all winter and soon it will be time to plant the garden again.

Thanks be to God for the blessing of TOMATOES!!!

PS… I just realized that I made a similar post late last August called “the Tomatoes Won’t Wait!” – complete with some of the same photos…. Sigh… I guess that just proves how much I love tomatoes! I really can’t help myself about them…

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