Two cranks were turning as my friend and I began our end-of-summer sauce making tradition — one was attached to a press, mashing tomatoes into a seedless, skinless puree, and the other was attached to a pasta maker, creating silky ribbons of dough. Our kids, one at each end of the kitchen, worked their little muscles, heave ho-ing with every turn and loving every second of it. As the ribbon of dough got longer, the kids squealed in delight, cranking and turning until the last of the 44 farm fresh tomatoes had been passed through the press — several times — and every inch of our countertops was covered with Fetuccini. The combination of olive oil, fresh garlic and garden basil simmering with 8 quarts of fresh tomato puree, tantalized our senses as we worked together to preserve Summer’s bounty for the chillier months ahead.
Although the remnants of this marvelous sauce will fade from our taste buds, the time spent together with family and friends in the kitchen will linger in our memory. With each quart of sauce we defrost in the upcoming months, we will not only have dinner, but we will be revisited by these endearing moments.