Dear Curiosity Journal,

Saying goodbye to the summer veggies is such sweet sorrow. Sweet because the season of rest is upon us. Sorrowful because we’re eating the last ripe, homegrown tomatoes of the year. Sure, we have a couple of tables of “greenies” in the barn, but you can never be certain if they will ripen before they rot. As for the ripe ones, their days are numbered. It’s time to sauce them or lose them to the imminent timetable of decay. Recalling the regret of not preserving more veggies last year is enough to make me rally for one more round of sauce. One glance at the blush bulbs, bravely holding onto their beauty, and I can’t let them go to waste. I gather the cutting board, knife, bowls, food mill, sauce pot, canner, jars, lids, rings, and ingredients and assume my position at the kitchen counter. I fall into the steady percussion of chopping, followed by the circuitous swirling and mashing of the pulp, then the bubbling of the sauce, and the final ping of the popping lid, with the essence of summer safely sealed inside. This is another kind of meditation, an act of gratitude for the gifts of Mother Earth, a mindful connection from soil to stomach that stretches across the gardenless winter months. Time consuming, but never a waste.