This year, as my garden is growing and maturing, I understand it for the first time. It is a beautiful thing to watch what you have planted grow and bear fruit. It is slow gratification, but gratifying nonetheless.
Once the tomatoes were ripe, it was my grandmother's turn. She canned tomatoes for days on end, through the heat of those late summer days, putting up enough to get the entire extended family through the winter. She would then make sauce, soups, and countless other delicious things to feed their family.
I think this effort was really symbolic of how my grandparents lived their lives. Though their marriage was arranged, they built a beautiful life together. They loved each other in the deepest sense. They tried to nurture and protect those they loved and do the best they could for their children and grandchildren. They worked together, not always harmoniously, but in the end, the fruits of their combined labor were even more gratifying to them than those tomatoes were.
a bunch of fresh basil for every 3 pounds of tomatoes
3-5 cloves of garlic (peeled, no need to chop) per batch
3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil per batch
A pinch or two of salt