Mom and I canned spaghetti sauce last week. It was a messy process.
First, we waded out in the field, in mud up to our ankles, to pick the tomatoes. The forecast called for more rain and we didn't want the tomatoes to rot on the vine.
If that wasn't muddy enough, one of Brian's kids sized me up as a playmate and jumped on my back--not once but twice. My siblings were quite amused by the muddy hoof-prints on my back.
From there we hauled the tomatoes up to the house were I sprayed them with the garden hose before lugging them into the house for a more thorough washing. Then we cored and quartered them and ground them up with cloves of garlic, pounds of onions and fresh herbs.
By then the messiest part was done, though you might not believe it if you look at the stovetop. I left two batches simmering on the stove and, borrowing a canner, I took one batch to the Cookie House to cook down on my stove. In our respective kitchens, Mom and I ladled the spaghetti sauce into jars and processed it in canners. My batch yielded eighteen pints, which should last me well through the winter.
It was a lot of work--from growing the tomatoes and herbs to carrying the jars of spaghetti sauce down to the shelves in the basement. But, homemade spaghetti sauce is just so much better than what they sell at the store that it was worth the work and the mess to be able to open jars of spaghetti sauce all winter long.