A Farewell to Tomatoes
Now that the leaves have changed and the morning air has grown brisk, I have to accept it: summer is over. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the fall, winter, or spring for that matter. I enjoy that I live in a part of the country that has seasons; it gives me something to look forward to, and every couple months brings with it a sense of nostalgia.
I'm looking forward to apples, winter squash, root vegetables, braised meat, soups (soup season!) and deliciously hearty, comforting meals. I can't wait to recreate all my winter favorites, with a spin on whatever I happen to be into in the moment (last year it was infusing Asian flavors into old favorites. Being so close to New Mexico this year, I have a feeling I'll be into a lot of Mexican flavors and, of course, all the chiles).
All of this means saying goodbye to all my summer garden vegetables. Goodbye zucchini, goodbye fresh peppers, goodbye cucumbers....and goodbye tomatoes.
While I'm feeling okay with letting all of these delicious summer staples go, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little sad to see tomatoes go. I know it's going to be a long eight months until I see you again.
But trust me: this is for the best. Eating tomatoes in the wintertime is a little bit like biting down on a piece of tomato flavored cardboard. Even if they did taste good, I'm not supporting my local ecosystem by buying tomatoes grown in Mexico, so I can wait and be patient.
While I'm saying goodbye to tomatoes, though, I happen to have a boatload of them! The coming frost meant we took everything the garden had to offer, including all the green tomatoes.
Over the course of the summer, our garden may have turned into a jungle, and we certainly learned some lessons about the number of plants we need to produce the right amount of food for the two of us, but throughout the summer we only took what we needed. Sometimes that meant an overgrown zucchini while we menu planned more zucchini into our cooking.
This harvest was different. This is the last harvest: tonight, everything will freeze and we would lose anything that stayed out there. Which means one very important thing: anything that we couldn't eat fresh this week needed to be preserved.
First step: make as much delicious garden fresh food as we can in one week. Check out some of the recipes of my favorites below!
Step two: get to preserving! More on that in the next post!