I don't care what the calendar says. In the past week or so, we have definitely moved into a new season. Even though the days are still hot, the nights are cooler. The plants are flowering short and fast. Drying leaves rustle in the breeze. The light falls long and golden before it's even supper time. The thistle has sharpened its thorns.
Maybe it's not yet fall, but it's something in between. That liminal time when so much is ripening, because ripening fruit is the plant's last bid for immortality. It reminds me that the seasons don't just pop neatly from one to another as the sun reaches certain points in the sky. It's always moving, an eternal act of becoming. And right now is the season when we are becoming FLUSH with vegetables!
I've started packing food into my freezer in anticipation of those short, dark days when I am tired of cabbage and missing the summer. Today being Sunday, I had the leisure of doing office work much of the day, which allowed me to make some slow roasted tomatoes. I just sliced them in half lengthwise, put them on lightly oiled sheet pans, and set them in the oven at 250 degrees. Then I let them sit there for FIVE HOURS. That's how long it took for them to condense into small, deep red, caramelized versions of themselves. So rich, so sweet. Tomato candy!
After I pulled them out of the oven, I let them cool for an hour or so, then stuck the whole pan into the freezer. When the tomatoes were frozen, I scraped them off into a freezer bag, and they were done. I'm not sure I can afford the time or the electricity to make too many batches like this, but I can't wait to eat these when summer is just a memory. They'll make a great pizza topping, or I can chop them up and add them to pasta sauces or chilies. Instant sunshine!