A Family Affair By MeLissa Kirk

Our next Other Voices submission comes from MeLissa Kirk, who posted to her Facebook page that she was going to be canning tomatoes with her father the next day.  I couldn’t let that pass, so I asked her to take pictures and tell me about their day.  We received a charming tale about how canning tomatoes can be a family affair.  Enjoy! 

MeLissa’s dad cooks breakfast for the tomato crew.

I never expected my dad to be the King of Cannery in our family, but he has proven me wrong year after year. From making pickles to canning tomato juice, Dad has the touch.

This year he called and asked what I wanted to make and I said more chili mix and salsa. He said,  “Okay, what time should we start?”

We agreed on 7:00 am and when I arrived I found him at the grill cooking sausage and eggs for himself and our other crew members for the day – my nephews. I was thrilled with the extra help and the little hands that could reach in the vines and get the tomatoes I might miss when picking.

Thanks to my nephews Blake and Blaine’s fast hands working the vines, we quickly harvested three buckets. We set off to wash them and prepare our creations.

We do all our canning outside that way we don’t have to worry about making a mess inside the house.  Dad has his carport set up with his canning system down to a science. He has thought of everything. Everyone pitched in Dad, my step-mother Alice, Blake, Blaine, and myself.

Her nephew Blaine is a good sport about harvesting tomatoes early in the morning.

We worked together laughing and joking about the little things, but really they are the moments I cherish the most. It wasn’t long until we had 21 quarts of chili mix, salsa, and tomatoes. Yum!

It was a great morning well spent and I will always treasure the time we spent together.

Can you find Blake among the tomato vines?


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