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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Canning Tomatoes

This week, I stopped at a small roadside vegetable stand along route 522 in West Virginia. The lady manning the stand was so genuinely happy to see me. The offerings were wholesome; country butter made from a local Amish farm, vegetables, peaches, honey with a comb inside. I decided to buy two big boxes of tomatoes, each for a whopping $8. On the way to my cabin, I stopped at our little corner gas station, market, post office, hardware store and picked up some Mason jars. After a long day of sterilizing, skinning, packing and boiling I had 28 beautiful jars, 20 with tomatoes and 8 jars of homemade tomato basil spaghetti sauce, (basil courtesy of my neighbor who has the garden of Eden in her backyard.) I cannot explain to you how this simple act filled me with such satisfaction. I remember my mother canning in the late summers of my childhood. She was a daughter of the depression, and was constantly concerned with having enough provisions for her 5 kids. In this world where everything is moving at the speed of light, going back to the old ways is deeply rewarding. Spend a day. Put up a can or two and slow down.