Tomatoes and Traditions

Friday, August 17, 2012

There are so many traditions that we have, and one of them is canning. Every year I can remember my mom (and grandma and aunts etc) have made the most delicious jams and syrups, and pickles and sauces, and veggies and fruits. If we couldn't eat it fast enough we canned it so it wouldn't go to waste! The garden would just overflow, or it would be in season and super cheap and so we canned it to eat it latter when the garden wasn't producing. 

I don't like pickles, or every time my mom would spend the day canning those I had to be out of the house. The smell drove me outside into fresh air. 

I was never really able to help, I don't know if she didn't have patience to teach me or didn't trust me with a knife or boiling hot liquids...But now that I'm older, more patient, my hands better able to handle a knife I can actually can myself. And now that I have a husband, a home to store things in, and we're trying to grow our little family I have a reason to can food in order to preserve it. 
So I bought this lugg of tomatoes off of Elm street from a little fruit stand for $4. They're "canning" tomatoes, so basically if you don't use them today or tomorrow they'll be to far gone. They're squishy, and you probably don't want to just put some salt and rice vinegar on it and take a big bite. A lug looks like this.
 This ginormous box. $4. 
Jars, reusable. The screw tops reusable till they get too rusty or damaged. The only thing you have to continue to buy are the lids, which are a one time use. Start up cost is pretty big, but not to bad. In the end, you have a full day spent with your mom, talking and laughing and getting covered in tomato bits, plus 12 quarts and 12 pints of tomatoes that will last goodness knows how long? And really, what did it cost? 
All the jars!!! Cleaned and ready to go, so pretty.
 Peeling is so easy. Just 2 minutes in boiling water then dumped in cold water and the skin just peels right off!
Salt and apple cider vinegar, really? It's that easy?
 Just canning thingy only holds 7 quarts.
 It kind of looks like muscles and veins, almost like hearts shoved into a jar...Not in a morbid way, more like a scientific way...
First batch done! And while we wait...

Isn't this place beautiful?
By the lake...
Very green...
On our way to see Grandma. 

What a great day. I love this tradition. So fun, so productive, so fruitful. 

Remember to make all of your traditions with your family special, and memorable, and purposeful. Even the little ones like taking pictures on the first day of school, saying family prayer and having family home evening, waking up early on Saturday mornings and getting donuts and helping dad load the truck with wood as he cut it. Camping at Pismo for a week. Every summer for the past 8 years? Or more? That's one of the best ones.

Life is so good.

The Newly Wed Game

Sunday, August 5, 2012

We were the youngest couple to play...almost 2 1/2 years now...
and we were awful! 

Some of the questions...
The boys were out of the room, the ladies answered the questions on paper, see if the boys answer the same as what we wrote...

Most of my answers were jokes...
What candy best represents your first kiss?
...neither of us could remember our first sad right? But after our third date everything up till he proposed is just a blur! We went on at least one date every week! 
Needless to say, we got it very wrong...

Who does your wife most admire besides family?
There are so many people I look up to, but admire? When I think admire, I think "like", or "adore"...or find attractive. Since I was just kind of joking around, I picked the one fictional character I can't get enough of, Sammy Winchester from Super Natural. He said Jesus Christ...

What would be the one thing your husband would go back for if your house was burning down and all pets and family were already safe?
He said filing cabinet (with all our important documents) soon as he said it I knew that was the right answer. I said the new car...

What cartoon character/super hero would your husband want to be?
My mind most often thinks of the very last thing we talked about. I was trying to get him to let me paint something on his face, and since super heroes are all on the rage right now we were trying to find one he would let me paint on him. Finally after going through all I could think of we decided Speedy Gonzales was the only mexican one, and that would be the one he would let me paint on him (even though he didn't let me)...So that's what I put. As soon as he said TMNT I knew that was the right answer...I just never think of them as cartoons or super heroes. I think of them as large green turtle suits...I wasn't old enough to watch them as cartoons...

Your husband is the best...fill in the blank.
He said worker, because I'm so proud of him and his amazing work ethic. That should have been the right answer. But I was still joking around. We fight, that's what couples do, and when we do our name of choice is "jerk" I said he was the best jerk. He said that that did cross his mind, but that he didn't think I'd write it down. Oops.

Then we went out and the boys answered questions.

What cereal best describes how your in-laws thought of you when she first brought you home? 
I said is there a cereal that says what are you doing dating an RM, you're only 19 and we don't want you to get married? Of course not. I had no idea...He said Lucky Charms. In the long run I think yes, that fits very nicely. I have no idea what my families first impressions were though...

What celebrity does your wife best resemble?
I knew that one. He's told me several times that I remind him of Zooey Deschanel...he smacked his head and said oh yes, that should have been the right answer. He said Pam from the Office, because we love Pam and Jim's relationship so much...

When did you first know that she was the one?
I had no idea. We had always talked about how it was kind of love at first sight but we never wanted to admit it...we didn't want to get married, we were just looking to date and stuff...Apparently it was when I sat next to him at our second Friday Forum together. That was news to me. Nice news :) They gave me several guesses, and it was the only one I got right.

What is the first thing on your honey do list that your wife would want your to do tomorrow?
I said the pantry, since we were going to finish it that day but ran out of time. He said hang the puzzle. Both answers were right...

And the last question...finally, put us out of our misery...we were so pathetically last. 

What did your wife want to be when she was 13 years old?
We never talked about this! There was a time around there that I decided I didn't want to be a teacher anymore because I didn't want homework every night, but I didn't decide I wanted to be a physical therapist until my senior year of high school, and then the end of my junior year of college I decided to be a stay at home mom...somewhere between 13-17ish I had no idea what I wanted to do. The answer would have been "I don't know"...He said "mom". I didn't decide I wanted to be a mom until we had gotten married and the option of becoming a mother because a possibility. Well, now he knows I guess...

Bishop and his wife did the best, they've been married for 26 years. Bishop told Robbie that after that many years all of the "oh duh's" that we did during the game just become common knowledge. And you do so much changing in the first couple of years of course you're going to get a lot of the answers wrong...You're still learning about each other...

It was so funny watching the other two couples "fighting" about the right and wrong answers, and then the bishop and his wife getting them all right except for one. It was hilarious, learning about the others love stories and more about our own. Some of them thought we should get the dinner and a movie prize because we obviously needed a date and time to talk haha...

We laughed so hard my cheeks were aching from smiling so much.

Happy Sunday.
Keep laughing.
Keep smiling.
Keep loving.
Keep learning.