Friday, September 24, 2010
Yesterday, I spent the better part of the day canning tomatoes. It is something my family has always done. It helps to keep our Italian heritage alive. Of course,it was turned into a comedy of error of sorts... (what in my life doesn't turn into this???) My mom gave herself 2nd degree burns on her fingers, I sliced my hand open, and we had a seriously constipated baby that wouldn't nap toddling around. But, never-the-less, we canned those tomatoes with great gusto so we will be able to enjoy truly homemade spaghetti sauce throughout the year! The day always brings me back to when my grandparents on my mom's side were alive and we would can in their basement. It was your typical Italian-American basement with giant photos of their three kids making their 1st communions on the wall. A map of where the family is from in Italy, a bar with a faux-wood formica top, a display case with various chotchki's in it, and of course a second kitchen/laundry room/wine cellar. It had a distinct smell that I will always remember. It was AWESOME!!! What I wouldn't give to be back in that basement, with my grandpa who still had his Italian accent, my 4 foot tall grandma with orange hair, my aunts and uncles, and all of us kids, all talking loudly. My dad (the only tall blond Polish guy in the room) would be carrying the bushels in from the truck outside, then the tomatoes would be set out on the folding tables, my grandma's sister, Auntie Anna, would be teaching us kids how to cut the tomato the right way, my grandma would be running around doing various things, my grandpa would be yelling at my grandma about how all she was doing was just running around (hahaha!!) and when the canning was done, we would have dinner. I ALWAYS wanted spaghetti, but not on this day, usually it was pizza. These are the things that keep families together. These are the things that make us remember where we came from. These are the things that matter.