Thursday, September 2, 2010

Postcard from Tomatoland

It began at 8:30 am.

Picture a laundry basket heaped with tomatoes. Picture a pot big enough to bathe a small child in. Imagine undertaking, in a single day, the task of turning ALL the tomatoes into can-able food. The washing, the slicing, the skinning, the slow cooking down. The pot above is tomato-sauce-in-progress. I swear it cooked from 9:30 am until 9:30 pm, before I finally called it done.

It was Tomato Day: the day, once a year, that I give over to a peaceful and all-consuming canning marathon with myself. It's the biggest thing I do, probably, to participate in seasonal eating and our local foodshed.

Soon, fall will come, and fresh-tomato-eating season will end. Frost will come late one chilly night, and my vines will hang from their cages like last year's tattered birthday streamers. In winter, we rely solely on canned and frozen tomatoes and tomato products to see us through. It's not bad, really. Relegating tomatoes to summer months only just makes it all the sweeter when the season rolls around again.

Even if it means a steamy, sweaty kitchen, and red-freckled walls from the burbling sauce-pot. It's all worth it.


Gretchen said...

I so agree with you about canning tomatoes. They are so much better than store bought. I used to can at least 150 quarts of tomato products to see the family through the winter months.

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