I didn't grow any tomatoes this year, and my mom only put up a few plants - so what's a gal to do when she's hoping to try her hands at a bit of canning? She gets lucky, she does. Lucky to have a mom, who has a friend, who has tomatoes - lots and up for grabs. (And lucky this friend is also a very kind lady!) So out my mom, my little boy, and myself went to the friends to pick tomatoes on a rather blustery day. The wind was whipping maliciously and chilled us to our bones, but the promise of home-grown tomatoes through the winter months kept our fingers picking.
The Help (He Contributed the Green Ones)
The Fruits of Our Labors
This child-hood friend of my mother's has a marvelous, well-kept garden and the tomatoes were beautiful! We came home with a good amount and went to work canning the next day. On the menu were tomato juice and a basic tomato sauce. Out of a steamy dishwasher, I pulled out hot glass jars and placed them on a flower print cloth laid out on the counter. The light from the window shone through the clear glass creating a cathedral affect. Meanwhile, simmering in a large silver pot were chopped up tomatoes, releasing their juices. In an even bigger silver pot, water was coming to a furious boil waiting to receive sealed jars filled with the red elixir. The kitchen smelled deliciously fresh and wonderful. And oh when we roasted some tomatoes in the oven - sweet, warm goodness.
All the while I felt this energy, knowing I was doing something good for the environment, my community, and my family. I felt a belonging to the natural rhythms of the world and to generations of people before me who took the bounties of their harvest and preserved them in clear glass jars set upon wooden shelves to sustain themselves through winter. My mom's kitchen turned into a gathering place for learning as she passed down the wisdom gained from her mom onto me - wisdom that goes back through the ages.
© Meadowlark Farms 2007