I woke up this morning to the slam of the gate. It was 0800am and looked like it was about to rain. I could smell woodsmoke and hear voices so I got out of bed and went to investigate. Luca was in the garden picking tomatoes from the vines.
He then took them inside and spread them all over the floor to mature for another week. Luckily I caught him doing this last week too.
The whole room was carpeted in tomatoes. Can you imagine tripping and falling there?!
Outside there was what looked like a big witches cauldron bubbling away over a fire. Last weeks ripened tomatoes were plunged into the boiling water for about 25 seconds so that the skins could be peeled away easily.
At the table everyone was working hard. Nonno and Nonna, Zia Maria and Zio Stefano were Peeling heaps of warm tomatoes with sharp knives in that way that only Italians know how to do. If I tried to peel a tomato like that I would likely stab myself more than once and end up with a small handful of mush.
Packing them quickly into all the glass jars that everyone has been saving since last year...
And quickly building up an impressive amount of canned tomatoes to get the whole family through another year or two of pasta al pomodoro.
The jars are then taken outside to the witches cauldron and boiled to seal them. Gosh, I could have fun at Halloween with that cauldron...it's a shame we live so far from the road. We definitely won't be getting any trick or treaters here!
So when I am cooking and need a tin of tomatoes I just pop upstairs and help myself. I feel a twinge of guilt every time I take one as I played no part in their making, except for a bit of watering every on and then. But next year I will help more...I'm not going to become a total gardening fanatic but will pull my weight as I do eat the rewards!