If Paul and I don’t see another tomato until next summer, it won’t be too soon.
This weekend was spent processing 60 pounds of tomatoes into 5 1/2 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 4 pints of pizza sauce, and 5 pints of salsa. The bulk of the work was done by my wonderful husband, who stayed up until 5am Sunday morning peeling, seeding, and squeezing the juice out of the tomatoes.
And we also made a batch of peach-raspberry jam and also some strawberry-blueberry jam (just used what we had – about 1 1/2 quarts of strawberries, 1 pint of blueberries, and sweetened to taste and added pectin) as well. Whew!
Thankfully, the harvest season is nearing its end (from a canning perspective, at least) – all that we have left this year to can is some apples in about a month or so.
Not to say that he and I both haven’t put in hour after hour slaving in the kitchen, over a hot stove, during the hottest part of the year. It’s been hard work, really hard work – and I have a greater respect for our ancestors who used to do this as a matter of course rather than as a hobby. And sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it.
But come January, when there’s nothing growing, and even the winter squash is a bit long in the tooth – cracking open that jar of strawberry jam or jar of spaghetti sauce will transport me right back to August, and the scent of it will both remind me of the perfection of summer and also give me something to look forward to in the months ahead. I keep reminding my husband of this when we’re up to our elbows in tomato juices, but hopefully come winter, it will truly sink in and help motivate him to do it all over again next year (no more tomatoes, honey – I promise!).