A family tomato sauce tradition
A child, as she grows to a woman, has to decide for herself if a tradition is worthy and has value for her.
Everything seems to move so much faster now, so much more packed into a small space or time. The quickest way to the final product is the general consensus. Quantity and bottom line. Television and Xerox copies. Wonder and Ragu.
Seems to be no time for bread baking and sauce making. But, what if we slowed it all down? Maybe we would find and experience the art of living.
Once I thought of family traditions as nonsense. But I now see their value and find some of them worthy and fitting for me. Out tomato sauce is one of those things.
To fully enjoy the recipe, taste the sauce.
Into the fields with all the other sauce-making families, each with a different recipe they swear by. We pluck those plum tomatoes from their vine. We welcome the perfect ones into our family, and the rotten ones we throw…at each other.
What kind of party would it be if we weren’t dropped off in the middle of nowhere and picked up again at the farmer’s whim?
So we do nothing but sauce for a complete weekend. We got ahead of ourselves this time by squeezing the seeds out of too many tomatoes. Once we squeezed them we couldn’t chance them rotting by waiting till the next day to cook them.
So we were up till five in the morning, grinding and stirring and sweating. We couldn’t let mom wake up to such a disaster. (She went to bed early opting for the morning shift.)
So two more hours of cleaning. Sound fun yet?
Steps 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Add (per six to eight quart pot):
Cook until tomatoes and onions are nice and soft.
Put the same batch through the grater about three times till the seeds and skin (the waste) are coming out bone dry.
Don’t forget not to stop stirring!
But this recipe has nothing to do with Italy. It is actually her sister Julie’s recipe that she got from a French friend named Maggie…I believe.
Anyway my mom and my aunt (and uncle and nonna) are great cooks. And this sauce has always been an extended family tradition for as long as I can remember.
CANNING OR JARRING
So…take a hot jar and pour the sauce in. Wipe off the rim with a clean towel and put on the hot seal and ring (you figure it out, potholders help).
TURN UPSIDE DOWN and put aside to sit for 12 to 24 hours. They must be upside down to make the proper seal and to get out the air. Hey, that’s how we do it. Now you are ready to store it, or better yet…EAT IT!
Me, I’m a semi-traditional girl doing some traditional things which I’ll hand down to my daughter.