I spent a good portion of last Sunday in the kitchen making from scratch and canning six jars of tomato sauce. It was a wonderful, exhausting, hot evening, but next time I decide at 3 pm to make a double batch of sauce and can it all before bed, please tell me (kindly but firmly) no.
Still, there's not much that compares to that moment you can finally flop down on the couch, very tired but pretty certain you'd have at least a fighting chance at pioneer-style survival, should it ever come to that. I love building knowledge like that: whether it's knitting, chopping wood, or knowing more or less how not to accidentally poison yourself while preserving your own food, it feels...good. Not that I know how to chop wood. Please don't take that away from this post. I do not know how to do that.
I turned 27 years old yesterday! I'm really in my late twenties now, as my sister keeps reminding me. Kristie and I went to my parents' house in Connecticut and I ended up spending the night there -- Phoebe can convince me to do pretty much anything. I don't want to sound too sappy or whatever, but it doesn't get much better than those five people around me at the dining room table, ribbing each other over candles and glasses of wine and my very favorite dinner (the recipe for which I will be sharing soon). Per my annual birthday request, my dad dug out our old home movie tapes, and we watched happily for a few hours -- longer than anybody planned, but they're so hard to turn off. Kristie headed back north after dinner to attend to Samson, and I slept in my old room and woke up to rain. After our parents went to work this morning, my brother and sister and I made secret plans together over tea and eggs.
I had already planned to take today off from my day job, which made saying yes to the impromptu sleepover that much easier. Rather than taking a day off for my actual birthday, it felt like more of a gift to myself to do it today. Because the day after your birthday is the farthest you'll ever be from your next one, and I wanted to spend it working on my own projects in a coffee shop, enjoying the sleepy, gray day.
All of this to say...I wanted to share the tomato sauce recipe with you. I heard it described recently on NPR, and it sounded so blissfully simple, I couldn't wait to try. And it is -- simple and easy I mean. I used fresh basil, and pureed the whole thing afterward since I occasionally don't want to be reminded I'm eating actual vegetables when I eat sauce. Try it if you've never made sauce before, especially if you can scrounge up the last of the summer's local tomatoes from your favorite farmers market or roadside stand. I hope you enjoy the delightful "ping" of lids sealing in your 9 pm sauna of a kitchen as much as I did.