Guest Post: Tomato Day Dream by Photographer Nicola Parisi

I met Nicola last year at Eat Real Festival, and fell in love with her dreamy California photo journals. Here’s a story from her on one of my favorite foods to return to during California summer: tomatoes!

Summer in San Francisco is here. Long stretches of daylight and long stretches of fog. North, south and east of the city are warm temperatures – and it’s here that I venture to get a true taste of summer.

Summer means tomatoes. Seeing them at farmers markets reminds me of tomato canning nearly a year ago with good friends up in Dixon, California. A straight shot northeast of the city, Dixon sits in the middle of a hot, dry, mosquito-filled desert. Aside from the mosquito bites, I remember it very fondly. Eat Well Farm is plentiful in the summer – thousands and thousands of tomatoes are piled into crates, ready to be canned and stored for the months ahead.

With a group of 10 or so friends, we spent all of our waking hours (12, to be exact!) coring, boiling, chopping and cooking down our vibrant red heirlooms and San Marzanos. At the end of it all, after much snacking and beer-drinking, we were canning tomatoes by candlelight. The next morning was when we were truly able to recognize the fruits of our labor…. over 100 jars of all shapes and sizes, brimming with punchy red tomato sauce.

My share of 12 jars has lasted me from then till now, and I still have 7 left, which I dole out only for the most special occasions and guests. The next tomato harvest is around the corner, and I’m excited for the long and sweaty hours of laboring over scalding pots, mosquitoes and all, knowing that the satisfaction that comes from creating something from scratch, with friends, is what makes it all worthwhile.

Looks like Eat Well Farm is selling tickets for their “Sauce Parties” now.

Visit Nicola’s site, follow her on Instagram.