Today is the Friday before Labor Day weekend. I won’t lie, things could be worse.
Every year, at the end of summer, my grandparents make tomato sauce in their backyard. The entire block smells of boiling tomatoes and hard work. In their old age, they’ve moved into the summer home they’ve owned since 1978; a newly renovated beauty in a beach town that has the second highest concentration of Irish-Americans in the US, called Breezy Point, NY. They’ve always been the “odd man out” here, not truly understanding the Irish customs or traditions that their neighbors celebrate and vice versa. But, after emigrating to Brooklyn from a small southern Italian town in the ’60s, they’ve learned to keep their heads down and cause no problems.
Anyway, today was the day for sauce. I was the lucky one chosen to pick up the tomatoes this morning at 7:30 and make the traffic-filled trek out to Breezy Point with a pickup bed full of tomato bushels and a Nesquik in hand.
After MANY hours of work, we have finally added the finished jars to the heat to seal and preserve them. Today was full of annoying issues and difficult situations, but finally, all 20+ bushels are done and we can celebrate. As all 16 of us sit around the table for the first taste of our newly made sauce, it’s great to remember that I wouldn’t have been able to help today if I had a job, I wouldn’t have been able to carry on the tradition.
I guess we can consider that the silver lining.