Oh Summer! The weekend before last, a friend and I picked and canned tomatoes. I met her outside her home in the early morning hours and we traveled out to the Valley to a farm where, on Labor Day weekend, you can pick your own roma tomatoes for 25 cents a pound. It was still cool when we arrived at the farm, though you could feel the hint of the day's heat steadily tugging round your neck.
There was something so striking about the long, early morning shadows stretched across the field. Children were darting in and out of the rows and the faintest drops of dew still hung on spider web's strung across the wooden posts.You could hear the lilted sing-song of a generation of older Italian families who came here annually to spend the day harvesting these deep hued vines. For us, it was almost over too fast. It seemed to take us no-time at all to pick the tomatoes. Between us we had over hundred pounds ~to add more than that seemed folly.
The sun was still reaching its bright morning stance when we returned home and started the sorting, the cleaning and the culling. It took us a while to get used to the tomato strainer (one a bit larger and built slightly different than the one here), but after that the tomatoes took almost no-time at all to peel and strain. Then we set about to making the sauce and canning the accomplishments.
My friend is no stranger to canning, she is actually quite the accomplished chef, but on that particular day, the kitchen felt like an oven, and if anything, it was the the one thing that wore us out the most.
However, it was a good sort of exhaustion, the type that comes from a day well spent.
I am wondering however, just how long these cans of sauce will last in our tomato loving household.
Well they might not make it all the way to next summer, but they have left me with an itch to get more canning done before we are thrust head long into cooler days and darker nights. xxoo