My father’s parents are salt-of-the-earth people. They are humble, kind, generous almost to a fault, and incredibly self-reliant, even as they grow older. Each year, my father’s parents pay tribute to the generations that came before them and honor their (my; our) Italian heritage by bringing in a truckload of tomatoes, and making and bottling their own tomato pasta sauce. It’s an age-old tradition still followed by many Italians, all over the world; even when we immigrate to new lands, we don’t leave our traditions behind. They make hundreds of bottles from thousands of tomatoes, with the help of my dad and auntie, and often a few friends and other relatives. They work under the eagle eyes of my grandparents, and while everyone has a good time, the sense of duty and respect is palpable.
Recording memories, through blogging, photographing and journaling, has always been incredibly important to me, and as my grandfather closes in on 90 years old, the realization that this beautiful tradition won’t go on forever under his watchful eye has really hit home. I initially took my camera along this year, with the intent of capturing as many wonderful memories as I could, both for myself and the generations of my family to come. Then, I realized a far greater thing would be to share these precious memories with others.
17 thoughts on “Photo Journal: An Italian family tradition – tomato sauce making day”
Wow, that is an incredible set-up in your grandparents backyard!
This is wonderful Jess, how lucky you are! Maybe I can find an Italian family to adopt me for a day to make tomato sauce…
Thanks so much Chez 🙂 and my family would happily take in anyone for the day! Hehe
Good to know!!
Love your pictures and it looks quite fun making tomato sauce this way. 🙂
Thanks Mike – fun and messy 🙂
I love these old traditions. It’s up to us to keep them going for as long as we can. We got my grandfather to teach us how to make sauce, wine and salami, so now we do it and hopefully our kids get to experience the same traditions we did.
That’s so awesome that your Nonno was able to teach you guys all of that! It’s nice to see our generation placing so much more importance on these traditions 🙂
I love this so much Jess! I wish my family had a tradition like this. It reminds me of Looking for Alibrandi 🙂
Hahaha Bec, you have NO idea!!! I remember reading it in high school thinking “holy crap this is MY life!!!”
Reblogged this on mamabatesmotel.
Thanks for reblogging!
: ) You’re welcome !
How fabulous! What a wonderful tradition.
Thanks so much Sheree!
Beautiful. Wish I could partake of your tradition.
Thank you so much, what a beautiful compliment 😊