This is not a cooking blog, though good food and alcohol are two of my passions.
As a woodworker, it makes me crazy that we don’t have a functioning wood-burning stove (this is something that will be rectified with our new place). So I use my scraps, sawdust and shavings as mulch, I burn them in our outdoor fireplace and I use them in cooking whenever I can.
Today I applied the first coat of oil to a French oak workbench for a customer and used the scraps from the piece to make one of my favorite things: a smoky tomato sauce that is fast and easy. You can use almost any wood for this.
Here’s how: Take shavings, offcuts and what-not and scatter them on some foil on your grill. Crank the grill up to high and char the shavings for 10 minutes.
Take eight or so Roma tomatoes, slice them lengthwise and put them cut-side up on a metallic vegetable steamer. Place the steamer on top of the smoldering chunks of oak, close the lid and cook them for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and the skin of the tomatoes is blistered and a little charred.
Place the tomatoes in a blender and liquify them. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and whatever seasoning you like. It’s ready to eat.
— Christopher Schwarz