The Last Days of Tomatoes


We went to the farmer’s market last weekend and bought a 20-pound flat of tomatoes ($35 from the lovely people at Ella Bella farms), as it’s one of the last weekends of dry-farmed early girl tomatoes this year. The tomatoes get softer and sweeter at the end of the season, but you want them a little earlier than that—when they still have great acidity.

Then we took the better part of Sunday afternoon to heat our house to about 90 degrees to can these tomatoes. Our oven was going strong—about three burners at one time (to boil water to sterilize jars and lids and to skin the tomatoes)—for a couple of hours as we turned the big box of ripe, round spheres into about 27 pints of goodness. It’s a lot of work considering you can just go to the store and buy canned tomatoes. But I can tell you that nothing’s as good come the dark days of January than a jar full of summertime in your pasta sauce.

We started off drinking the amazing 2005 Bourgogne Blanc from Domaine Leflaive, but soon switched to Pacifico when it got too hot. What’s important is what we’ll be drinking when we eat the tomatoes during the winter—a bright, tangy wine.

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