I am SUCH a crunchy granola aging hippy! I tell ya.
I recently wrote a post called “Abbondanza” where I wrote about how excited I was at the incredible bounty of fresh foods at my farmer’s market. I was thinking about the fact that pretty soon it will be the dead of winter, and we’ll be reduced to eating canned tomatoes and frozen peas. Yechhh.
So this morning I woke up and thought to myself, “I’m an Earth Mother type! I should buy and can a whole bunch of tomatoes!” I was overcome by the image of my healthy woman self whipping up a delicious lasagna in February, using those vibrantly delicious tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic and oregano from the summer. Mmmmmmm, good! I could just picture my grandmothers, great-grandmothers and great-great grandmothers nodding in approval.
I was psyched!
I headed off to the local farm stand. I was about to grab a whole bunch of fresh, perfect tomatoes. I smiled at the farmer, and announced “I’m going to can tomatoes!” She looked at me like I was insane. “You can’t use THOSE! You’ll go BROKE!” She hustled out the door of the stand and grabbed a huge box of slightly imperfect tomatoes. “You want THESE.”, she announced.
Oh. OK. I quickly chose a bunch of other ingredients and grabbed the big box of “canning tomatoes”. I was so impressed with myself! Heading home to “put up” vegetables for the long winter!
“Bring back my box!”, the farmer called as I pulled out of her driveway. I waved in response. She’s a little scary. I’ll be bringing that box back tomorrow.
I got home, and spread out all of my treasures.
Holy healthiness! Look at this! I was so excited.
I breathed in deeply, smelling the golden late summer air. I felt just exactly like “Ma” in “Little House on the Prairie.” I thought about putting my hair into a long braid, or a nice little bun at the back of my neck, but I had just had a hair cut, and it was only about an inch long. Still, I felt pretty wholesome as I wrapped myself in my organic, sustainably raised cotton apron. From “The Kitchen Store”.
I began by chopping up huge piles of veggies. I’ve done this before! I hummed to myself, thinking of the millions and millions of women who have come before me, seeing the incredible richness of summer as a time to prepare for the long, cold winter.
I decided to get myself fully into the mood by listening to some old folk songs. Just like all of those women in those healthy olden days, I thought that music would ease the burden of all the hard work ahead of me. Feeling one with my ancestors, I popped my iPhone onto the dock and booted up Pandora. Bluegrass music enveloped me as I dropped the chopped veggies into my Cuisinart and hit “high”.
I pureed the entire box of tomatoes, plus two fresh onions and ten cloves of garlic. I added in the organic basil and my own garden fresh oregano. I let it all simmer on my electric stove, thinking of all the women before me, forging a new life in a new land, facing untold obstacles.
Even though I was pretty sure that I knew how to do this safely, I decided to be extra cautious. After all, I am a Mother! This food will no doubt be used to sustain my family in the harsh winter!
I googled “canning tomatoes” and watched three You Tube Videos to make sure I was getting it right. Yup. Just like a Pioneer Woman. I knew what to do!
So here I am, five hours after I started. A real, honest-to-God, back to the earth, all natural hippy granny woman. All I had were my hands, my local farmer, Michael’s Crafts for the mason jars, the internet, YouTube, an electric stove, a thermometer, a set of oven mitts, some “can grabber” tongs and my internal drive and innate knowledge.
I. Am. Amazing.
What a self-reliant, simple, back to nature woman I am! I can’t wait to google some awesome recipes for all this deliciousness!