I'm living my grandmother's life, but unlike her, I'm choosing it.
I'm talking about canning. We had a prolific tomato crop this year, as we do most every year. We tried Cherokee Purple and Oxheart Heirloom varieties and the plants rewarded us with large, juicy fruits. I raised Constaluto Genovese sweet Italian tomatoes to use on baked Caprese salad with crisp homemade bread and fresh, gooey mozzarella cheese. I can make a meal from that! Then there were the little Romas, San Marzanos and Principe Borghese varieties. I coaxed them out of the soil in pots in my office window early this past spring in anticipation of delicious sauces and sun dried tomatoes. Yes, we had quite a variety and they produced abundantly.
So for the past two months, I've dedicated hours to canning juice, whole tomatoes, sauce and salsa. Not just me, my husband helps, too. He actually knows more about canning than I do thanks to his keen observation of his mother's work when he was a child. My mother tried canning for a few summers then gave it up; it was too much work with three children to take care of. And with the abundance of cheap, canned vegetables in the grocery, I'm sure Mom didn't see a need to heat up the un-air conditioned house for the hours it would take to do the job.