1. you probably grew up with more food on your dinner table than was absolutely necessary (and maybe even forced to finish everything on your plate before you left the table because there are many starving children in this world!)
2. you spent every Christmas Eve with every relative you know sharing stories (and food of course) around the table...probably in someones basement using plates and dishes that don't even remotely match
3. you have been (and may still be) involved in the tomato canning process.
This process of "doing tomatoes" is something many of us Italians have done and still do, not because it's economical (and depending on our Canadian summer weather, you may not even end up with a better product than the high end San Marzano canned tomatoes that are imported from Italy,) but rather because it's tradition.
Many steadfast "preservers" insist on doing the tomatoes over Labour Day weekend (something that is not always seen as good...especially when you were a teenager!). We have always done them in the few weeks that follow Labour Day which has worked out well for me, as I like Labour Day to be all about bbq's, summer drinks and lots of friends. The tomato process involves going to a local farm to pick up bushels of tomatoes (yes, most Italians have their own gardens, but the tomatoes they grow are for their own dinner tables)...and after you see this process, you will notice that, with the amount of tomatoes we buy, you would need acres of tomatoes to use our own for this canning process!
This year, we had the opportunity to visit Pat, a friend of my dad's, who loves to garden and plants way more veggies than he could ever use. He told us we could come and get whatever we wanted but the only stipulation was that we pick them ourselves (which we've never done...it is back breaking work for me so you can imagine how tough it is for my parents!)
More tomorrow when we will get into the actual process!!