I’m kind of dragging my feet here, it’s well into tomato season and I haven’t yet pulled out my pressure canner. I don’t know about you, but my tomato consumption (due to the large amount of stews/soups/chilies I make) skyrockets during the winter months. My over enthusiastic plan for this winter was to put up enough tomato concoctions (sauces, pastes, stewed, diced, etc) to last me through the winter without buying a single canned tomato product… but then… I remembered the last time…
… Last summer, before the birth of this here blog, without a care in the world and absolutely no plans for the day, l I was frequenting the Baltimore Saturday morning farmers’ market, when I came across a vendor selling tomato seconds (i.e., tomatoes that aren’t as pretty as the rest). I quickly scanned my mental rolodex of canning ideas, and over-zealously and sooo naively decided that I wanted to put up 25 of generic marinara sauce. Super! This lead to the not so successful bike trip across town, to return home and realize that not only was this going to be an all day affair, but also that in order to avoid using a crap ton of citric acid additive that a pressure canner was needed… which I didn’t have at the time (my enthusiasm was waning). Hours (like 7 of ’em) later not only was every vessel in the kitchen that somewhat resembled a pot in use, but every inch of me and my kitchen was splattered in red sauce (remember your childhood art project where you blew paint through a straw? Ya like that…).
So here it is mid-September and I’m the cheap ass who feels guilty for not starting tomatoes yet… in hesitation to relive the unfortunate memory last summer’s canning fiasco. Well, we all have to re-start somewhere, right? While biking around the Seacoast on Labor Day this year, we stopped by the store at Stout Oak Farm in Brentwood, NH. Tomatoes galore and all I could do was creepish’ly stock the display of Matt’s (who’s Matt?) Wild Cherry Tomatoes. So tiny, so red, so delicate, and sooo sweet. I’m actually surprised they made it home not completely devoured. Knowing that this variety of cherry tomatoes would turn to complete mush if I canned them, I instead opted for a fridge pickle. Funny enough, while consulting the interwebs for picked tomato inspiration I came across the Diary of a Tomato, a blog in which they picked the exact same variety of tomato from a nearby farm. Great to know I’m not the only pickling freak on the Seacoast, we should probably be best friends.