It was Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that initially inspired me to start putting aside some summer foods for the winter months by canning or freezing.

To be honest, canning scares me. I’m not the most thorough person. I tend to cut corners and do things a little, um, half-assed, and canning just seems like the kind of thing that requires more precision and attention that I can give.

But freezing is something even I can do. It’s easy — no pots of boiling water or tongs needed — and safer since there’s less of a chance of that pesky botulism developing.

U-picks have been particularly motivating for us since we inevitably pick more than we can eat. Our apple picking trip yielded a few pints of homemade applesauce, awaiting those dark days when apples are out of season. Thanks to our trip to Swanton Berry Farm, we put aside some berries, too.

But the most space in our freezer is devoted to tomatoes.

Much of the 25 pounds (!) of tomatoes we picked Mariquita Farm’s u-pick last year ended up cooked down into sauce and frozen. We ate that tomato sauce all winter long, with rapini and sausage on polenta, or on whatever pasta we had on hand.

Sadly, we couldn’t make it to any of Mariquita’s tomato u-pick days this year.  Instead, we picked up some 20 lbs of San Marzanos at one of their drop-off nights instead of visiting the farm and spent a Friday night cooking it down.

So while the fall usually brings San Francisco’s most summery weather, in the WholeHog home, it’s harvest time.


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