basic tomato sauce all from my own street


There is an older gentleman down the road who grows a most fantastic garden every year.  He sells the bountiful produce by the side of the road at the end of his driveway.  This week, indeed this very moment, I am working through a bushel of his tomatoes, making and canning a basic tomato sauce.  Yesterday I did four quarts, and as I sit in my cushioned rocking chair which my son pulled in from the porch, I am keeping an eye on a simmering pot of batch number two.

There is a contentedness in preserving food, although it does take hours to complete the process from start (sterilizing the jars) to finish (cleaning up the kitchen).  What I love about canning is using the fresh produce which has been grown in the local earth, water, and fresh air.  I’m making tomato sauce which contains not only tomatoes, but the heart and soul of people I know and love.  Every time I pop open a jar throughout the next three seasons, I’ll say a thank you prayer.

Our local gardener extraordinaire is currently selling his property, so next year the tomatoes will hopefully come from even closer to the kitchen, like, from my own (bigger) garden.  Tomato sauce from the yard will truly be wondrous (and something my mom has been doing for years and years)……..goals and dreams for the coming years.  

For this sunny late afternoon, I putter away in the kitchen with a little help from my daughter and we work, cut, drop, stir the pot, simmer, sift, and simmer some more, fill the jars and process.

view from where I sit in my rocker, a bubbling kitchen

my chair, book, and phone to text husband who is stranded at the airport

when I got up to stir I turned around to find a sad boy.  why is he sad?
because Grace and E won’t jump on the trampoline with him and he doesn’t want to go to school next week.



In other news:

it will eventually be covered up but we will always know our names are under the fireplace hearth

We wrote our names in wet cement in our new addition.

And Sarah drove her brothers crazy by remarking OVER and OVER that SHE got a new magazine when she went shopping with mama today.  It’s hers.  She got it with mom.  It’s Strawberry Shortcake.  But it’s hers.  Don’t touch it, you two.  You two cannot have it.  She got it today while shopping with mom.  It’s her new magazine, etc.  Finally, (after ignoring her didn’t stop the talking) Caleb, still playing with trains, yelled, “I don’t WANT your magazine!  I don’t even LIKE Strawberry Shortcake, Sarah!”

I’m making a sauce today.
I’m caring for children.
My husband and my mother are just a phone call away.
I love my life.

“You must taste and taste.  Taste everything, and often.  Taste even if you’re scared.”  Tamar Adler

11 thoughts on “basic tomato sauce all from my own street

  1. Some people have wished to run away and go live with the Brady Bunch. I wish to run away and live with YOUR bunch! LOL! 🙂 There is always something fun or interesting or delicious going on at your house! (Sarah surely had better watch that Strawberry Shortcake magazine if I'm ever around!)

    Your kitchen is beautiful, and I'm wondering how you like your single farmhouse sink? What material did you choose? I can't tell. I've never had a single sink, but a single farmhouse sink is what I'm thinking of getting when we put the kitchen in our house. I'm not sure yet what material it will be made of, though. I'm still thinking about the possibilities.

  2. 1) I was surprised that Rich even signed his name, after not scribbling on the old island wall. Please tell him I am very pleased that he joined the family on this one! 🙂

    2) I loved your description of Sarah, and the sad boy in the rocking chair!

    3) You did not explain the red paint next to the phone, where you could text your stranded husband. Just sayin' you left me hanging!

  3. dearest, I signed Rich's name for him. He wasn't home. You are very observant about the paint. It's there because I caught David digging out a tomato and filling it with paint outside and took it from him. love you and thank you for your friendship!

  4. I loved all these pictures! The bushel of tomatoes made e=me smile and the new dining area is really coming along and looks sooo cool! Hopefully it will be done in time for the holidays, how exciting! -Chris

  5. In every house that Jeff builds or remodels he writes J+L on a piece of wood or drywall before he covers it up. He's done it since 1996! So there are lots and lots of houses in the Chicagoland area with our initials hidden inside somewhere. I always thought it was so sweet.

    Love the first picture of the tomatoes! It's so summery and cozy looking.
    I enjoy having canned jars around my home too…and even though it is a long day and lots of work, it's such an accomplishment. (except peaches, that's just torture 😉 I am looking forward to applesauce, that's always a favorite of ours.

    So excited to see your new addition finished! How nice to have that extra space!
    Happy Thursday. XxOo

  6. I have never learned to can, but would love to. Again, you are too far away or I would be asking to help so that I could learn how. 🙂
    I love it that your new room is going to have a fireplace! How cozy that will be. We used to love to go eat breakfast on cold winter days, at a couple places in town that had fireplaces. Sadly not there anymore.
    Sarah is so funny. I am glad you included that story. Hugs to Davey. Did you tell him to go jump anyway…I bet someone would join him.

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