Heirloom tomato nirvana has recently befallen our local farms. Little did I know that one, a stones throw from my parents (if your a baseball playing giant that is) grew so many varieties! This week I filled up a bag, grabbing one of each of about half of the available offerings. Three of them different types of Brandywine, one a giant strawberry, others all red and pink, yellow and orange. I envisioned, not making all sorts of tomato dishes – salads, gratins,… – but rather canning this fresh bounty for the winter months, when summer, and the fresh tastes of it, became a distant memory.
Unlike my peach canning experience, (which started off the same way – peeling by blanching and an ice water bath) the tomatoes were a piece of cake to prep, compared to the mess of the munchkin sized peaches. An equally temperate day fit the bill for some late august canning – by bounty 6 pints of assorted tomato wedges.
My next mission, to head on back, and walk out of there with as much as I can carry Basketfulls of dozens and dozens of their fresh picked heirlooms – and to not buy an imported or unfresh imposter until I’m picking my own off the vine next year!
I won’t be canning all of them, In addition to putting down some fresh fruits and veggies for the winter, I’ll also be putting down lots of fresh soups as well as a Polenta Lasagna. I’ve recently stumbled onto some french recipes for ratatoille and a Tomato Squash gratin (almost a ratatouille) that will let me sample some fresh tomato dishes!