The contents were simmering in a pot of his signature sauce — brimming with onions, our own garlic and sweet/hot peppers, studded with spicy Italian sausage and splashed with dry red wine.
Here it is only mid-January and already we’ve gone through most of the tomatoes we managed to can last summer. To be fair, it’s the tomatoes Kevin managed to can all by himself, while I sat at the kitchen table sorting dried beans with my left hand, the right stuck upright in a purple cast.
I had such expectations — with sparky marigolds and Genovese basil as companion plants, we were supposed to bask in San Marzano heaven.
Certainly, the plants were happy for awhile. Fed by composted horse manure and specially formulated nutritional supplements with additional calcium, they were lush and loaded with promise.
Then came the rains and air circulation concerns.
Then came the windstorm, flying artist tent and broken arm.
Sky water + horse manure = out-of-control growth. Of not just the tomatoes, but the marigolds and basil, too.
But with the primary tomato pruner out of commission and Kevin forced to rebuild his art inventory while nursing and chauffering me, negotiating with insurance companies, and shouldering all domestic duties requiring two hands, it soon grew into a jungle out there.
Sky water + impenetrable vegetation = prime conditions for fungal maladies, although we were fortunate to be spared the ravages of late blight, which ran rampant elsewhere.
Given the circumstances, I suppose we were fortunate to harvest enough tomatoes to get us to this point.
At least we still have a dozen or so pints remaining, patiently waiting their turn to become sauce.