Sunday, March 14, 2010

National Tomato Making Day

You guessed it, it's that time of year when in every traditional Italian household, boxes and boxes of overipe tomatoes are ordered and delivered by so and so's friend of your uncle who does a really great price if you buy 20 boxes etc etc, you know the deal it's all about who you know not what you know, all in the name of making anywhere from 50 - 200 jars and bottles of tomato sauce ready for the year or in some cases years ahead.

We are not talking here state of the art equipment, nor are we talking that any OHS standards apply, you just need a garage and a few makeshift tools and as many family members as you can to help. The process all up is at least a couple of days and I can honestly say that there are less and less attendees every year. Actually it's great for the kids to see it, they will grow up in a generation where everything is already in a container or package and they have no idea how it got there, unless of course we make efforts like this. This is the reason why I cook most of our meals at home and I bake a lot with the kids, just so they grow up understanding how to make and prepare healthy food. We hardly have take away and rarely or never eat out unless its a special occasion. So you can imagine between 5 lunches every day and a dinner every night I churn out lots of meals every week and I can honestly say that at times inspiration of what to cook and coming up with new ideas can be stressful, especially when one doesn't like this and one doesn't like that. Anyway I have completely gone off track but the whole issue is if you don't make an effort to prepare home cooked meals, the kids just fill up on whatever crap they can find in the cupboards. I believe when you develop taste buds for healthy food, you will always prefer them to fried and fatty foods. The only exception is chocolate of course, but we won't go there as that deserves a whole blog post all on its own. So here are some pictures of what my sister and I term "National Wog Day" all in fun of course.

You start off with lots of chopping, some tomatoes were boiled first and then the skin taken off, it just depends what type of sauce you are making we make two types, one with the whole tomatoes and one with tomato paste. So these chopped ones were for the tomato paste.

Here is my nephew Arrian and my daughter Melanie, chopping away, I was helping here but stepped away to take a few photos.

Here is my uncle who is over 80 I might add using a very ancient machine which didn't sound too healthy with it's makeshift motor parts but anyway slowly but surely it got the job done of pureeing the tomotoes.

My kids did a bit of squishing before it went into this machine because it all seemed to go through a little easier. I was helping with this as well, great therapy actually squishing tomatoes. Give it a go!

My mum wanted this shot of the kids, she said they can show the photo at school my kids couldn't think of anything worse. As you can see my eldest wasn't very impressed and kept giving me the look, you know that look when they are totally PO at having to endure such embarrasment. Oh well I say we had to do it, they can too. LOL

So here is the finished product well a couple of jars of it anyway. I must say that all year round we keep the old empty jars but no matter what, half the lids never match up, I'm not sure why?? It's kind of like how you can never find matching socks what it is with that!

Okay so that was our Saturday afternoon. By the way the tomatoes do taste really good especially when you are making a pasta sauce with it, it just doesn't compare to the supermarket stuff. Then again anything homemade is always exceptional compared to pre prepared frozen foods, of which I have never really tried anyway to comment, but I can just imagine.

Just in case you were wondering this hasn't become a food blog, but I just felt the need to blog this. I know one day we won't be having these days any longer. It really isn't the same now without my Dad, he was the organiser and overseer of it all his spark and enthusiasm as well as his comical way of saying and doing things, the day just doesn't have the same magic without his presence. I know though when my mother passes the tradition unfortunately will pass with her, like so many other traditions.

Enjoy the rest of this beautiful sunday!

Anna xox


Anonymous said...

Hi Anna, I really think you should make tomato relish, that is my favourite. Home made sauce is good but relish takes the cake. Enjoy, Marls

Anna said...

Hi Marlene, thanks for the tip, next time I am up to facing tomatoes in such large quantities (which won't be for a while) I'll consider it. Anna xx


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