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