Sunday, February 24, 2008

End of the summer

Berkeley confuses me, because just as I'm hunkering down for a winter of squash, the spring crops start coming in. Certainly I appreciate the young plants available in February, but I'm not really expecting them until April. I have a cupboard of winter squash, stored for when we're trapped by the snow-storm.

Seasonality comes not in whether there's enough food, but in the kinds, and in whether Farmers' Market is packed or simply busy. The farm we get our vegetable box from has started setting out their dried tomatoes and peaches from last summer, which taste fantastic.

As for foods I've preserved, I've started cooking with the peaches from the back of the freezer (I think I'll keep the frozen quince until later in Spring). We still have a few jars of peaches pickled in lemon, sugar, and spices, for when we need dessert on especially cold nights.

But last night we used the last jar of tomatoes from August. Those were seriously good tomatoes — every jar tasted and smelled like summer, even though the weather is rainy February.

Most of our jars of tomatoes came from one twenty-pound box of Early Girls, and they lasted us — essentially a family of two — half the winter. Next summer, I intend to can at least forty, and perhaps sixty pounds of tomatoes, and that should last us all winter. Perhaps ketchup and tomato paste and tomato soup, too.

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