September is here, waking us up with cool mornings and sails of fog rising from the valley.
For the first time in a year, I’m looking forward to a month without achiness and exhaustion. In June I was diagnosed with lyme disease, and though I’d been crashing every day, I pushed through. With the diagnosis I finally gave myself permission to rest.
Hence the silence here. And in other parts of my life, too.
Taking care of myself meant emptying my very full hands, laying down, and sleeping. And while that meant I missed many summer sunrises, it’s brought me here to this point, to feeling better. (Along with the help of antibiotics, herbs, and a change in diet, that is).
Sleeping was the easy part.
The shift to an anti-inflammatory diet was a bit trickier, given the 22×96′ greenhouse filled with tomatoes, and the rows of peppers, eggplants, and potatoes growing in the fields. Surprisingly, cheese was much easier to give up than tomatoes.
But that’s all I’ll say about that.
Because now winter squash is ripening, spinach is rooted in the hoop house, and the autumn weather has me craving carrot soup, apples, and pumpkin bread.
The September bounty eases the temptation of roasted tomatoes.
Which I’ve been making a lot of for our Fall Harvest CSA. Roasting tomatoes for the freezer is my favorite way to store them. I’ve tried, but I’ve never been one to do much canning. Instead, our chest freezers hold a winters’ worth of summer harvests.
I first came across these roasted tomatoes through Margaret at A Way To Garden, who shared Alana’s recipe from Eating From the Ground Up. (And if you’re a cook-book lover like I am, you’ve got to get a copy of Homemade Kitchen).
Roasting tomatoes is easy and versatile.
Keep it simple with olive oil, salt and pepper. Or drizzle some balsamic vinegar, add sliced onions and basil. Whatever calls to you, add it.
Alana calls for a low, slow roast, but I have so many tomatoes to process that I set the oven 325º and roast for 1-2 hours, depending on the tomato type (longer for juicy slicers, shorter for paste).
Roast until the juices have released, the edges are dried, and the whole kitchen smells like the most delicious sauce.
Let cool, then transfer the tomatoes to a freezer bag, label and freeze.
Eat them up all winter.
One of my favorite ways to use roasted tomatoes is to puree them with an immersion blender, add a little parmesan cheese, and pour over noodles.