Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tomato Anxiety Syndrome

I have a problem. And I think I have finally reached rock-bottom.

In an effort to eat locally, more or less, throughout the year, I have been attempting to preserve the summer bounty for winter use. Last year, I started with tomatoes. My mom and I bought a bushel from a local farm and spent a sweaty, but very fun, afternoon peeling, seeding and cooking them up into a delicious tomato sauce. At the end we all enjoyed a fabulous spaghetti dinner. And throughout last winter, we ate our way through the sauce I had frozen in August.

But it all went so fast.

So this year, with more time and certainly more energy with one child in school and the other adhering to an actual schedule most of the time, I decided to, "take to the next level, baby." (Who knew I could work in a reference to former college football start Marcus Vick while writing about tomatoes?)

This year, with the help of Val and her Lancaster farmer connections, my local farm, and my neighborhood farm stand, I purchased and processed five bushels of tomatoes. Every time I thought I had enough, I had an inexplicable fear that we would run out of tomatoes in the dead of winter. Now, it's not like I consider canned Del Monte diced tomatoes some kind of toxic food abomination. I have often purchased them in bulk at Costco to, again, ensure that I always have some on hand when the need arises. (Perhaps my tomato issues go back further than I thought. Hmmm...)

But preserving your own tomatoes is so satisfying, cost effective, and, in a weird way, fun. I think everyone in the family has participated in the tomato assembly line this year, save Jamie. (That would have been a show.) And now when I break open a bag or jar in a few weeks when the weather has turned fully, I will be able to savor one last little taste of summer. In the mean time, I can look at the "wall of tomatoes," as Dave calls it, with a little pride and the realization that I completely lost the edge.


  1. Not sure "a taste of summer" is an accurate description of this quantity of tomato product!

  2. "I have a problem. And I think I have finally reached rock-bottom."

    Tyler Durden would say "slide" as he stockpiles the tomatoes next to the soap. Project Tomato-hem?