Is Commercial or Store Bought Tomato Sauce Really Red?



*So, I have been growing my own tomatoes – Cherry: Red and Yellow, Heirloom, Beefsteak, Roma – for the past few years. My curiosity got the best of me when I decided to puree a recipe I cook often – the Italian Pomodoro Sauce which is basically tomatoes, garlic, EVOO, unsalted butter, basil and S & P.



So I picked about 50-60 cherry tomatoes, varying in colors tonite between reds, light red and yellows. I prepared them by slicing them in half, shaving garlic, prepping basil by julienne, and adding EVOO and unsalted butter to a large pan.

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First I added butter and EVOO to melt down – this helps the oil from burning. Then I added tomatoes to soften until they burst. I added the garlic, cooked for another 5 minutes then added the shredded basil. Once it was finally all cooked together, I threw it all in my blender and purred until it was of a smoothie consistency.


So, what color do you think came out? Red? You’d think so which is what we are all used to? Not even close! My sauce was ORANGE. Then it occurred to me that major store sauces probably add an additive color like Red40. Does anyone know what that is? Well, I now do!


Red40 is a dye that does not really agree with humans or with animals for that matter. In fact, ‘Red 40 is a chemical compound that comes from coal tars. Dyes made from coal tars are created by mixing various fragrant smelling hydrocarbons like benzyne and toluene. Back in the day (think: ancient Egyptians) dye was made from things found in nature, like flowers, leaves, roots, etc. Over time however, scientists have learned how to create these colors in the lab – this is where dyes like Red 40 made their debut.’ by Integrative Nutrition (click link for more information).

Soooooo….YUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK! I have a nephew who falls on the Spectrum and he has always had food sensitivities. Does this sound familiar? I cannot make a claim against anything and I am not a Doctor nor am I nutritionist. However, I am a mother growing a garden filled with fresh food, no pesticides and now know what colors my prepared food looks like!

Bon Appetit!

*These are my own personal opinions. I am not influenced by any other people or third parties. I do not accept money for my writings or which way I write or have opinions on.



Convenience Says…


Summer is officially here in the Northeast. I live in CT and we have been swamped with rain more so than we are used to. So when you have a cloud-free beach day to commit to, convenience of planning is key.

For a long day at the beach the list that we usually make, besides securing the beach parking permit, are as follows:

  • recliner chairs for mom and dad
  • beach towels and sandals
  • toys and games
  • beach mats
  • sunblock
  • a tent/umbrella
  • a cooler for refreshments and food

But there is one thing a lot of people assume will be available at public beaches and those are the public tables. I personally cannot not plan my day around ‘availability’ and quarreling over who was there first. So if I can bring my own, I will.

Introducing the portable Table In A Bag. This is not new news, they do already exist! However, I have never come across one that is remotely tastefully designed and specifically for small claimed beach sandy areas! Remember the hotter and clearer the forecast, the busier the beach. Who wants to fight over tanning territory – certainly not me!

This little Builder-Bob contraption requires no tools for assembly! Just screw the pieces in and you are good to dine or even play Gin Rummy accompanied with a fabulous cheese platter and wine! It can even go to Europe without notice. I see castles in the Loire Valley, with fruit, baguettes, fatty unsalted butter and proper French Tarte-Tatin. Well, don’t you?

It’s so easy your kids will be convinced it’s the beach necessity and requirement for all beach days out! Even try a day out in the countryside, they’ll live for food in flowering pastures!

Featured on Food52.com, it’s going for $49 in natural and natural grey, in wide or narrow. Get these while they are here. Like a Bed Bath & Beyond featured product, they’re gone when they are gone! The price is too good to be true!

Have a great day out!


The Pretty Farmer


Thank you for joining me! Although this is not my first blog, I have not written publicly in quite a bit of time. I used to in London when I was sick and needed a distraction.

Well, a big Hello! My name is Alex and I am a Beekeeper; mother of three beautiful kids ages 10, 13 and 15yrs; owner of 6 dogs; a farmer to 12 chickens (soon to be 21), caretaker to 3 chicken coops; a gardener to beautiful vegetables; pruner to 20 fruit trees; and I am The Pretty Farmer. It’s a bit conceited, I know, but you have to describe yourself somehow, right? Why not pretty?

I gave myself this title by watching a friend at a local farmers market a few years ago. She’s also a farmer, local and down the street from me in a Dogwood tree-lined suburban, manicured roads, private schools in abundance and Range-Rovers everywhere neighborhood. But she has a real farm with over 400 chickens, acres of fruit trees and a vegetable garden that could supply Bobby Flay’s restaurants for a month!

One day I saw her at the market, in her booth, wearing a crisp white fitted button down shirt, pressed Gucci jeans and Coco Chanel rubber rain boots. My first thought was ‘How’s she gonna stay clean all day?’ Then I asked myself, ‘Why do we have to wear ugly clothes doing something we love and not look fabulous doing it?’┬áSo….the next market I wore my beautiful flower hat with a Chrystal pave Bumblebee pendant with silk flowers, white jeans, and a black and white striped JCrew t-shirt…so here I am…The Pretty Farmer.