Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You say tomato, I say...

Earlier in the summer I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbra Kingsolver, one of my all-time favourite authors (for realz). It chronicles her family’s experiences when they challenged themselves to live only on in season, locally sourced food for a year, and for reasons I can’t really explain, it really resonated with me (but then, so many things do…).

Not that I've become a zealot by any means, but the book really made me think about the food I buy and the meals I prepare for my family. I started reading nutritional labels (get BACK, high-fructose corn syrup!). I stopped buying exotic fruits like kiwis and bananas and tried to celebrate what was in season in MY area. And I think the book sustained my interest – beyond my habitual Spring enthusiasm – in my humble vegetable garden, which is thriving (about that? The stock market could learn a thing or two about returns on investments from the humble cucumber plant. Holy Freaking’ Crap.).

Maxime and I were cruising the Farmers’ Market this weekend when I noticed that I could buy 20 pounds of plum (Roma) tomatoes for 8 dollars. EIGHT BUCKS. My local grocery store is selling them for 1.59$ a pound. That’s a 75% savings right there, people! How could I pass that up? With visions of a giant pot of sauce made from locally grown tomatoes bubbling away happily on the stove, I handed over my money with a smug smile. It was a no-brainer, my friends. I would be able to sustain my family through the cold winter months with the sauce I would make from these tomatoes. Pride, motherly love, and yet more pride swelled up within me. I seriously ROCKED.

Hours (and hours) later, I had turned this:

Into this:

That’s 5 pints of tomato puree. FIVE. Sure, it’s made from locally grown tomatoes, and they were dirt cheap, but there are only FIVE pints! Hardly enough to keep us in tomato sauce through the Fall, never mind Winter.

Which is why I bought 20 more pounds today. And will likely go back again tomorrow.

Because I don’t think I can stop with the tomatoes. Recipe suggestions welcome!

Happy cooking, everyone!


Maryse said...

Wow Tara! Il y en a peut-être juste 5 comme tu dis, mais ils ont l'air tellement appétissant! La couleur est magnifique. J'adore les tomates! C'est sûr que j'en ferai poussé sur mon patio l'an prochain!

Alrischa said...

Holy Freaking’ Crap would be an awesome name for garden fertilizer. hehe.

It's about to turn Spring here, and I have declared war on weeds. Can't wait until I can plant seeds! But I might just put one cucumber plant, because we have HFC fertilizer on our gardens, too. It's 50% manure, 50% worms.

margaux said...

LOVE! I really want to be more "local" too, you're inspiring me!

sapphireblue said...

Very nice. That farmer's market is great.

Cynthia F said...

Mmm lovely!!

Dawn said...

Oh yums! We made and canned salsa one year when we had tons of tomatoes. It was soooo much better than the store bought stuff!

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Wow, that's awesome girl! How do you find the time?

Do they still have tomatoes? That is insanely cheap! Where'd you buy them from?

Sinéad said...

Woah, that's a whole heap of tomatoes for $8! How does the grower make a profit on that? The sauce looks delish btw. I adore home-made pasta sauce.