So a couple of weeks ago (when might I add we were in the middle of a heatwave) our Nonna decided to make sauce. Now sauce making isn't a one man (or one Nonna) job, especially in an Italian household- it's a family affair and one which our Grandparents take very seriously.
So despite it being a 40° day we gathered around in Nonna's patio to make sauce. Ever since we were little our grandparents would allocate everyone a job. The adults of course had the more 'responsible' and 'serious' tasks, while the grandkids would be allocated random odd jobs like fetching water for parched relatives, or keeping the dogs occupied with way too many snacks. If we were lucky enough though, we would have the 'grown up' job of putting a small sprig of basil in the top of each bottle once it had been filled with sauce. We felt so responsible.
This year though the younger grandkids were at school and the all important basil garnish job was scraped. That got me thinking, was that job truly crucial, or was it just a lesson in responsibility? My younger self held hope that it was the former until Nonna informed me that the basil wasn't all that important! I was initially crushed until I realised that the small task of garnishing the sauce was important. It was a way for us to be involved and included in family traditions and for that I am grateful.
|Bottles waiting to be filled.|
|Filling the bottles with sauce.|
|Tomatoes ready to be placed in the machine.|
|The rejected tomato skins.|
So what was my job this year? I had the task of putting the bottle tops on the filled sauce bottles and fetching water for parched relatives. Not completely grown up, but getting there.