all american

We spent the day slicing and dicing and talking as kids ran around under foot. We talked and dreamed of real & ridiculous things.

There’s nothing like the mess of canning (which we did out of doors) that makes you think an industrial kitchen with a drain in the floor is an excellent idea. You could just have stainless steel everything and just hose it all off after cooking, Joe says to me. Ahh, yes. A man’s idea of the perfect cleaning job. Enter power washer tool and there would surely be a line of kitchen clean up volunteers after every meal. Then again, as a mama to four I do very much appreciate anything that can be hosed down and left to drip dry. 

We spent hours under the car port blanching tomatoes, cutting up peppers, herbs and simmering up some sauce. The little kids went from mostly clean and dry to sopping wet, partially clothed and covered in sand while we cooked….. stealing handfuls of sliced green peppers from the cutting board as they ran past. The big kids wandered between the sticky heat of the Louisiana sun and the air conditioned house, joining into the someday conversation here and there….


garden fresh herbs & farm fresh tomatoes


blanching begins...


dice & slice


We talked of living off our own little piece of dirt…

raising critters & our own food….

an old farmhouse…

scheming business plans…


The things that transpire while the sauce simmers. And you know, there is nothing like making tomato sauce that makes you feel humble & grateful for a tomato. To think of how many tomatoes, how much work, goes into making up that sauce. Well worth it mind you, but it makes you ponder a bit.


gettin' saucy


As we finished the last hot water bath of quart sized tomato jars I was feeling like we very much encompassed an all american family. Not a current day one, perhaps. But maybe one from a few generations ago that watched the kids play as they put up the harvest. Stirred their homegrown herbs into local farm grown tomatoes. Maybe men didn’t help with preserving the garden grub in the 40’s, or maybe so. The whole thing had me feeling pretty nostalgic. Connected to the past. Patriotic. And hopeful that these sort of things might be the memories my children hold dear someday. It seemed to be a very good way to celebrate a day of independence.


all jarred up


Hope your holiday weekend was just as lovely….


21 thoughts on “all american

  1. Looks great. It is so nice that you & hubby work together. Men didn’t help in the 60’s & 70’s either. At least mine didn’t.
    I had very large gardens & canned, canned & canned. I even made catsup which your Dad can attest to that he did not like.


  2. What a lovely post Stephinie. This conversations sounds oh so familiar to me. Dreaming, scheming, planning, all good for the soul.
    I’m in Louisiana this week, and the plan is that later on this week, my mom and I will be doing some of our own putting up too. Can’t wait.
    You are all American indeed! xo!


  3. Love it! I was supposed to can salsa and sauce from our harvest, but it doesn’t look like enough tomatoes will survive the daily consumption of a certain tiny girl and her mama to make more than a jar or so of each. 🙂


  4. I think that makes all the difference when couples work together and appreciate what each other do.
    I don’t quite know if I’ll ever make catsup…. but I do look forward to the day when we have a large vegetable garden and a little set of fruit trees & berry bushes to go with them.
    (ps I think he told me he put catsup on rhubarb once? haha)


  5. Haha 🙂
    This is exactly why we ended up buying 20 pounds from the farm in Youngsville. Hoping to make another batch this weekend….. or maybe some salsa….. yumm…..


  6. Lovely times spent canning. I grow the food and my husband loves to harvest and preserve it. Of course I’m in there helping too. I love our summer evenings working on projects from the garden.


  7. Hi Got linked here from canning across America. Those jars of your spaghetti sauce made me grin. I am sitting here trying to cool down from canning 7 quarts of salsa. Picked a 5 gallon bucket of Roma/Plum tomatoes from a farm down the road and only had to pay 12 bucks. A good deal I thought. Next year I will be canning food from my own garden. We are getting a little over an acre here in Houston county and just outside Dothan, Ala. Tomorrow I go to a farm and get 1 or 2 bushels of the great sweet white Alabama corn. The last of the season. Going to read more on your blog. Later Linda


  8. Now THAT is a bargain. I'm hoping to get some from the farm we visit. I just picked up 35 pounds of peaches today for $25. I plan to freeze some and make a whole lot of peach jam. Peaches are just so amazing right now. Good luck on your property! We hope to someday have our own little plot of land. Happy dreaming in the meantime… thanks for taking the time to say hello 🙂


  9. I just picked up 35 pounds of peaches for $25. I do see a very busy Saturday in my future. And delicious too. Cheers to a bountiful season of 'putting up' your own food.


  10. Oh bummer….. we had no peaches here last year due to a frost. I am so glad to be enjoying them this year and hope to continue doing so while were in the south. I don't imagine I'll be able to get peaches along side the road when we move back to the north?!


  11. Thanks foe sharing this u can’t wait to try it! I’ve been searching for a redsauce recipe! Thanks Angela Phillips. Calhoun city Mississippi.


  12. In your post, you mentioned finishing up the last hot water bath….does this mean you don’t use a pressurized canner for your tomato sauce? I’ve been dying to make some, but everywhere I have read that I need a pressure canner…..


  13. You do not need a pressure canner. But you do need to able to maintain a good boil for a long time. I think it was an hour for quart jars? {Don't quote me on that} My favorite book for simple guidelines is the Ball Blue Book Guide of Preserving. The recipes are basic and okay… but the safety guidelines are well worth the cost of the book. Happy preserving to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s