Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Today was tomato sauce day!  I taught some friends of mine how to can sauce a couple of weekends ago.  That was fun!  I had not canned sauce in over three years, the last batch I made, I froze. So, I had forgotten that the lemon juice was necessary!  When you freeze, you don't need to worry about the acidity level.  But with water bath canning, it's imperative...if you'd rather not get botulism anyway.  After I had finished showing them how to make (oh, they taught me how wonderful an immersion blender works for this process!) and can the sauce, I took them home and reopened the jars, reheated the sauce, resterilized jars, added  the lemon juice and then reprocessed them!  I can tell you that I won't make that mistake again, lesson learned.

I still needed more sauce for the winter, so I asked my friends if they could get me 20 pounds of tomatoes from their source.  I have the impulse to ask them "Hey, you got my stuff?"  like some drug dealer.  Dealing in licopene and vitamin C, that's my kinda "deal".  See, they run the organic vegetable CSA that I belong to, the one that all those wonderful veggie pictures have come from.  They have connections for organic tomatoes, which I have not been able to find locally.  So, they hooked me up with the 20 pounds and made them a gift for showing them how to can the other batch.  So nice!  I was thrilled to exchange knowledge for produce.  Now, I have 7 pints and 5 half pints (for pizza!) and 1 quart of sauce to help get us through the winter doldrums. Open those jars, pour out the sauce, smell the aroma of basil and oregano and the freshest possible tomatoes with the snow falling as the backdrop.  Comfort, right?  That says comfort to me.  And  I think of that each time I open a jar, it's a total experience for me.  And now, I will also have memories of an afternoon of fun, conversation and sharing with dear friends to open when I break that seal on those jars.  Wonderful, truly wonderful. These are the moments that make a life.

Wishing you some basil and oregano comforts for your snowstorms, ~Peacemom

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