I wrote this back in February of 2013 and happened upon it this morning. We’re in the dead opposite season now, but I know Winter is packing its bags and looking forward to a visit. In not that many months. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this repeat and the summer day you're reading it in.
Sunday was a yucky day but instead of getting all bummed about the mud, dirty snow and lack of sunshine, I decided to make stew. Usually I bake, but I have some store bought cookies (gasp!) and that will do for now. Anyway, this stew I make requires peeled tomatoes, so I took myself down to the basement and grabbed a jar. There are still quite a few of them from last summer’s garden and I feel downright wealthy when I look at the shelves full, or almost full, of the food I worked so hard to put up.
I bipped back up to the kitchen where I chopped up the vegetables and the meat, seasoned it all and then I opened the jar of tomatoes. Thwok! Off came the Mason jar lid and there they were, all red, plump, and juicy just as though I’d only spooned them in there yesterday.
I couldn’t resist. I stuck my nose in and sniffed. That’s when summer hit me in the face. Kitchen scenes popped into my head. It’s August, it’s hot and the tomatoes are sitting in pots, buckets and pans all over the floor and I’m wondering if I’ll get it all done. Spaghetti sauce, ketchup, stewed tomatoes, Peruvian sauce – a kind of relish made with apples. What a time consuming, perhaps unnecessary, way to pass an afternoon – or several of them. Was I nuts? Spaghetti sauce is on sale at the grocery story all the time and so is ketchup. C’mon, ketchup; who makes their own ketchup?
But, no, I couldn’t let those counter productive sentiments creep into my thinking. I sniffed the jar again and other thoughts presented themselves. Like the picture of my good man who plows and plants, weeds and harvests so I can have this end of February experience – August in a jar. This tomato-y, briny smell did that in an instant and I gotta tell ya; the hard work seemed as nothing compared to this. It was almost as good as a trip to visit family in sunny Southern California. Almost.
We planted some watermelon and tomato seeds this past week. Got those little peat pots to start them in. What I put up last year will be all gone before these seeds, these tiny seeds with their promise of bounty, will become what God programmed them to be. And I can wait. The jar of tomatoes is just a foretaste of what’s to come. Yeah, I can wait.
But in the meantime, I’m making stew and looking out the window at the waiting garden plot. Give us a month or so and that foretaste will become a full blown appetite.
I’m looking forward. How about you?
Image: Free Digital Photos