A long time ago when we were first married we started our first organic vegetable garden. We grew lots of vegetables. We both came from country families who still had big gardens and preserved the bounty in various ways for consumption in the months when there were no fresh vegetables. Robin has always thought she was born in the wrong time. She believes she should have been a settler riding west in a covered wagon, wearing a bonnet and smoking a corn cob pipe.
Anyway, we bought a canner, a bunch of cases of canning jars and lids and "put up" our bounty of tomatoes, green beans, squash and pickles. We moved from place to place in pursuit of education and later jobs. We didn't always have a garden or a garden big enough to grow excess for "putting up" but we always carried those jars with us just in case...
Now 35 years later we need those jars! We are happy as we can be to be able to fill them up again with the fruits of our labors. Green beans, bread and butter pickles and what used to be called spaghetti sauce but which is now called marinara.
It is extremely satisfying to be able to make a great tasting, nutritious marinara using only ingredients we grew on The Funny Farm. I'm sure i've mentioned it before, I watch the food network way too much but i have learned techniques for making food taste awesome. Like fire - roasting tomatoes and peppers. That smokey flavor and caramelized sugars taste fantastic in sauces, stews, and salads. So fire roast we did. Peppers which we froze, tomatoes which we canned, both as ingredients in the marinara and all by themselves.
We love spaghetti so marinara was one of the only vegetable based things we bought.
Now we don't have to do that any more. One less thing that has to be brought from halfway across the world.
Did I mention we have a gallon and a half of tomato hooch a-brewing.