Attack of the Killer Tomatoes


We have a good time down here in the trenches, our food department of two (our oft-mentioned intrepid intern, Roxanne, makes three). Really, we do. Sometimes Sara and I knock off for an hour and go to Punjab Kebab, where we overeat chicken tikka masala and saag paneer and then return to our desks in a stupor. Some days, I make everything into a bet—with bottles of wine serving as the prize (I have seven bottles by my desk now. Sara has only four. Guess who’s winning?)

In fact, we have so much fun during the week we decided to stretch the joy into the weekend by getting together to can tomatoes. I’m kind of a canning fool—jams, jellies, dilly beans, you name it, I’ll preserve it. (This trait, along with other old-fashioned passions earned me the early nickname Laura Ingalls Wilder around the office). In any case, we decided to devote Saturday to canning the best of the season. So we convened at the market to gather our supplies, then returned to Sara’s house to put things up.

Intern Roxanne and Jessica do the heavy lifting.

I learned some important things about Ms. Deseran in the course of our day spent together.

1.    She is a very discriminating peach shopper. Despite the driving wind and cold at the farmers’ market, Sara maintained her high standards rather than buying, say, the first tasty peaches she tried, while we waited for her to make her selections. No hard feelings, Sara, really.

2.    Sara likes to play dress up. Witness this photo. With only the teensiest bit of prompting, Sara donned her newly purchased vintage polka-dot dress and posed for this “nothing says lovin’ like tomatoes from my oven” photo.

Aw, shucks.

3.    Sara prefers to stand back—way back—and shriek occasionally while Roxanne and I pull flaming hot very slippery jars of crushed and whole tomatoes from their boiling water bath using terrible not-appropriate-for-canning tongs.

4.    Sara likes immediate gratification. Monday morning at work, she announced that she had already opened a jar of the tomatoes. So much for saving the harvest for the depths of winter…


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