Grow what you love. The love will keep it growing.
With happy fingers I plucked tomatoes from the vine. My feet danced a snazzy jig and off I rushed to pull up the onions. Ponytail sagging over my left shoulder, I gave it a little toss and snipped away at the fresh oregano and basil.
It was salsa making day and I had to gather the ingredients.
When I say "gather the ingredients" I secretly smile- no lies here. This shopping spree took place on our little patio (with some banana peppers and jalapenos from my sweet mama). I never, ever get to shop in my own corner of the world, so imagine my sheer joy when I realized that I had grown enough produce and herbs to make and preserve an entire batch of salsa.
Big. Proud. Grin.
Honestly, I'm still amazed that it worked out. I mean, I really did it! I really grew an entire garden full of ripe red tomatoes, crunchy bell peppers, flavorful onions, and spicy banana peppers and jalapenos. In some small way, it proved such a joy to see it come to fruition.
With the harvest gathered I packed it away and headed across the lawn and over the fence to my parents' house. My mom and I had a salsa making date and I wasn't missing it for the world.
We pre-gamed with a good cup of hot java, read over the recipe, checked out our impressive stash of veggies and herbs, and took stock of the situation.
She pulled out her canning equipment, we discussed how it would work, and then set about chopping and chopping, slicing and dicing.
Thankfully, my mama chopped the tomatoes, removing every one of those pesky little skins.
She's a trooper and a master of all things kitchen.
I preferred dealing with the peppers and onions and garlic-- more aromatic and completely worth the watery eyes.
After much preparation, which included boiling jars and sealing lids, our "Sunshine Salsa," as we chose to call it, emerged from the cooker and our hard work was complete.
My mama and I had ourselves the most wonderful time: talking, daydreaming, and admiring our hard work.
I'm beyond blessed to have such a special person in my life. I can't imagine learning from and with anyone else.
Now we're all eagerly awaiting football season.
There's something about a salty corn chip, a scoop of summertime, sunshine salsa, and Sunday afternoon Steelers victories.