Before finishing my chapter on bottling tomatoes the Italian way, I wanted to make a comment on another test result (see yesterday’s post): my active form of vitamin D, or 1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol, is right at the low end of the normal range. A close friend of mine, who is my vitamin D expert, told me that I must start taking a vitamin D supplement. I am sure she is right, so tomorrow I am going to a pharmacy to see if I can find the brand that she recommended. In the meantime, since it’s lovely and very cool here (we are in a small town near Avellino, about 40 minutes from Naples), I will sit out in the sun and do some reading.
Now for the tomato story. Yesterday morning we boiled the remaining tomatoes (the ones that we had not pressed into cauldrons and put inside the wood oven on Friday afternoon) which were then left to drip through a kitchen towel (photo on the left). Once ready, the tomatoes were passed through an electric tomato strainer (photo on the right). This wonderful machine separated the peelings and seeds from the tomato pulp and juice. Easy!
And this was the result:
We then bottled the cooked and passed tomatoes and put the bottles inside a homemade caldaia, or water bath canner. Since I am not an expert tomato-bottler (but mainly I think that my husband and his kind relatives wanted to spare me most of the hard work), I was given small easy tasks. It was fun, lots of teasing and good humor and laughter. We are all bushed today, though. So today will be a day of rest and relaxation. And of course, we shall be eating pasta al pomodoro! 😉
Tomorrow we are almost certainly going to Pompeii, so I should have some good photos to post on the blog on Tuesday. Stefano and I have been to Pompeii before (several years ago), but just as we were about to enter the Villa dei Misteri, or Villa of the Mysteries (which refer to secret initiation rites), a loud and scary thunderstorm sent us scampering toward our cars. We were thus forced to leave early and missed seeing the villa’s remarkable frescoes. Tomorrow we will visit the villa first thing!