My family has been canning tomatoes for as long as I can remember. I think it was actually my Daddy's sister that got Mama started with the recipe for what we call tomato relish, but over the years she has tweaked and fine-tuned the process to make it her own.
Now that I am an adult and no longer being forced to can tomatoes, I enjoy the process. It takes time and a lot of chopping, but it is almost always done with several family members involved which makes the work go faster and the time pass more quickly. All in all, I find it an enjoyable process.
There are still remnants of my childhood in the process, though. One thing hasn't changed ... Mama is still in charge! She freely gives orders to anyone helping, beginning with my Daddy and working her way through any of her kids and their spouses and then on to my kids (if they happen to be close enough to the house). Of course, she is the one who knows the process inside and out and no one really minds her being in charge. Actually, I kind of prefer it that way. Sometimes it is nice just to do as you are told.
For years, Mama was the only person who would actually handle the cutting of the tomatoes. Any one of us might be the one popping the skins or chopping the veggies, but Mama always handled the actual tomatoes. Mostly, this was because she didn't trust any of us kids to not accidentally get a bad tomato into the mix. While this was a distinct possibility back then, the tradition continues now that we are adults (and capable of smelling a bad tomato). It makes her nervous to watch me (or anyone else) and it makes me nervous knowing that she is watching me and knowing that she can cut them at least twice as fast as I can.
Just for the record, I could can tomatoes at home in my own kitchen, but I would much prefer keeping it a family affair. There is something satisfying about spending the day in the home where I grew up, doing the things with my husband and kids that I did with my parents as a kid. I can't exactly describe it, but I know that it is something I will carry with me even after this process does move to my own kitchen sometime in the future.
The kids did get to have a little fun while we were working last Saturday. They have discovered the joy of complete abandon while riding their bikes down a steep hill through the trees and into the back yard. This is something my brothers enjoyed when we were kids, but I don't remember ever doing it myself. Seems as though I do remember one of those trips down the hill ending in an emergency room trip for one of the boys, but I am trying not to think about that!
Uncle Bob (my oldest brother) riding D on the back of his bike and LB heading back up the hill.
JW getting ready to head back up for another trip down the hill.
Welcome to my little corner of the blogging world. Thanks for dropping by. I am a homeschooling mom of 3 great kids. They keep me busy and give me a clearer perspective on the things my parents experienced while raising my brothers and me. My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years. We enjoy spending our time together as a family and are seeking to serve God in any way He calls us. Right now, that includes homeschooling our children and, for Ronnie, serving as the bi-vocational minister of education and families at our church. I hope you find something that interests you here among my ramblings. And now that you are here, please leave a comment ~ they make me feel so special!
LB, our 15 year old daughter and our resident drama queen. She absolutely loves to perform. Her favorite role, so far, is probably Anne Shirley.
JW, our 13 year old son ... loves all things "boy" ... guns, camo, cars, etc. He is our family comedian and like his sister, enjoys performing ... he is also the most tender-hearted of my bunch and he loves to make people laugh! He definitely keeps things interesting.
D, our 9 yr old wild child! This kid is never still and never has been ... even before he was born. He is my best cuddler though and while he has always enjoyed his "baby brother" status, he is beginning to show his independence from the big kids.