A few weeks back I purchased a seasonal fruit & vegetable poster from Young America Creative. The letter-pressed poster lists the seasonal fruits and vegetables for each month out of the year in the Bay Area. I love the details and that it was created locally. The site boasts that a 200 year old Berkley letterpress machine created the print. If you get close to mine, you can visibly see the impressions it has left on the paper. The gold color used to illustrate each seasonal fruit and vegetable hits the light just so that each time I pass by it, I pause for a second to take a admiring look. And to top it all off, it came framed using reclaimed wood. I have actually referred to the poster now and again for ideas on meals and canning.
Today I stopped by my local farmers market and picked up about 6lbs of ripe roma tomatoes for about $5. Tomatoes are easy to can in the fact that you need one other ingredient, lemon juice, to add to each can before processing. Tomatoes are also easy to want to can since they can be added in so many ways to everyday cooking. I like them because I'd rather put them in my homemade chili than store bought canned tomatoes from a metal can which have a weird tinny aftertaste.
A few hours later, I now have 6 pints of freshly canned tomatoes. Working in smaller batches has taken the weariness out of the kind of canning I grew up knowing and hating. (Think of a hot summer day in a narrow kitchen with too many hot and sticky people, bushels of tomatoes, multiple canning pots boiling at once, and no air conditioning. Canning no es bueno.) Living in the Bay Area has proven to have the best weather for canning since I can receive the season's finest produce without the hot Indian summer weather. As I write this, I look out my window and see fog. It is a nice and temperate 65 degrees. My kitchen remains unsweltering. I considering that winning. And because of all these things packed down into a jar of tomatoes, this is truly the easiest season.
I used the Pickyourown.org can tomatoes recipe. You can find that here.