A few years ago, Ed and I were at the Farmer's Market lamenting the fact that so many lovely "seconds" tomatoes were being sold so cheaply, and we weren't buying them! So, inspired by my Midwestern heritage and the memory from my childhood of my mother spending a few days each summer in the kitchen canning the approximately 3 million pounds of tomatoes produced in my dad's garden, we took the plunge and purchased a huge basket of tomates. We called my mom, got some canning advice in the hopes that we wouldn't cause anyone who came in contact with our sauce intestinal distress, pulled a few recipes together, and made a grand mess. We had sauce for the year, and much like my childhood (which at the time was certainly taken for granted), we avoided lackluster imitations of the real thing sold at grocery stores. We spent some time discussing what next pioneering feat we would attempt, but as of yet, we've failed to get ourselves off the grid.
Last year, with a one year old in the house, we knew that a big day of canning was not in the cards for us. For one, some stages of canning tomatoes are better done with two people (though my mom manages each year without a helper). And more importantly, we just couldn't bear the thought of bringing a mess into our home. I think Ed's rule was that we were only doing work that needed to be done - not creating work to do.
But this year, those heirloom tomatoes called, so we decided to introduce sauce making to Connor. As shown in the video, he's obviously a natural. And, just so viewers realize we do learn in this house - last weekend we made sauce and Connor took care of the tomatoes inside. This weekend, Ed moved the process outside.