What are my blog mates trying to do to me, posting all these delectable entries about coffee mug cakes and caramel cakes and Hallowe’en treats? Can it already be time for me to put on that extra layer of fat for winter? The weather is just barely beginning to abate out here in the desert. It’s been under 100 degrees for several days in a row. But there isn’t any chill in the air yet - I expect that won’t happen until some time in January - and I’m still in the mood for some beautiful late summer tomatoes.
When the cook is tired, the night is warm, and it’s too late to be messing around in the kitchen, a bowl of home-canned tomatoes right out of the jar can’t be beat.
Sadly, this dish cannot be replicated with an aluminum can of store-bought tomatoes. In order to experience the mild, sweet, flavorful, dish that I’m talking about eating on a hot night on your front porch, you must begin by growing your own tomatoes over a long sunny summer on a mound of pure compost. The tomatoes must be picked fully ripe off the vine, and canned in glass jars in your own kitchen.
Open the jar, pour it straight into a bowl, and eat it. Maybe a little salt, maybe a little sugar, perhaps a sprinkling of chopped onion.
The result of all this care and work tastes like nothing that has been shipped to the local A&P in a refrigerated truck, nor cook in a big vat in a factory and sealed in a metal can with a dash of citric acid. It will be smooth and mild and sweet and so full of flavor that you’ll wonder why you every though those things you’ve been buying at the supermarket were tomatoes.