Necessary evils

I don’t know how my mother (and all my forebears) did this. The freaking shit is ripe at the hottest time of the year and you have to can when it’s ready. Especially if you planned on eating later in the year. OK, it turns out that I can go to the store and get other food so I’m not actually all that dependent on preserved foods but I am not so many generations removed from people who really did rely, at least in some part, on the food they could put by.

It was 90 out when I was making tomato sauce. I have airconditioning and it was still hot. My mother did not. I don’t even recall that she had a fan. And she didn’t just can tomatoes there were also 2 kinds of pickles and beans. We scavenged choke cherries and wild raspberries and she made jelly. The kitchen was a steaming hell. She never complained. (This is one aspect in which I do not take after her.)

I really hate using a food mill. My mom must not have liked it either because she used to have me do this. Raspberries have a lot of seeds.

This year’s tomato sauce

Well, it’s all over but the crying. This was a lousy year for tomatoes. But, it turns out, a great one for tomato sauce. The meaty, mealy big tomatoes were great for sauce. Even though I vowed never to make sauce again I was persuaded to do so because I needed to somehow distract myself from the emotional upheaval caused by the disappointment of the dismal tomato season. OK, I’m overstating a bit. I like all the fussy busy work. I removed the skins which is a simple thing unless you, like I, foolishly roasted them first. Removing the skins from a roasted tomato is not as much fun as you might imagine.

The sauce I ended up with is glossy and red/brown and tastes luscious. Now I will have to very thoughtfully decide what to use it for. Like I wouldn’t use it to make chili.