Italians, Family, Food & Tradition

 

Photographer Jess Carey is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.   From her project ‘An Italian family tradition: Tomato sauce making’.  To see Jess’ body of work click on any image.

 

1.Boil the tomatoes

 

My father’s parents are salt-of-the-earth people. They are humble, kind, generous almost to a fault, and incredibly self-reliant, even as they grow older. Each year, my father’s parents pay tribute to the generations that came before them and honor their (my; our) Italian heritage by bringing in a truckload of tomatoes, and making and bottling their own tomato pasta sauce. It’s an age-old tradition still followed by many Italians, all over the world; even when we immigrate to new lands, we don’t leave our traditions behind. They make hundreds of bottles from thousands of tomatoes, with the help of my dad and auntie, and often a few friends and other relatives. They work under the eagle eyes of my grandparents, and while everyone has a good time, the sense of duty and respect is palpable.

 

2.Process the boiled tomatoes through my grandfather’s homemade machine

 

Recording memories, through blogging, photographing and journaling, has always been incredibly important to me, and as my grandfather closes in on 90 years old, the realization that this beautiful tradition won’t go on forever under his watchful eye has really hit home. I initially took my camera along this year, with the intent of capturing as many wonderful memories as I could, both for myself and the generations of my family to come. Then, I realized a far greater thing would be to share these precious memories with others.

 

3.Bottle the passata

 

We live in a time where we have the power to be more connected than ever, yet we are not. More and more we hate each other, because we don’t understand each other; as different as we all may be on the surface, at the end of the day, we’re all human. And perhaps the more we can share our stories, the more we can really connect.

 

4.Lay the bottles into the drums which are filled with water, light a fire underneath them, and boil them to seal/set the bottles

 

See also:

The Kitchen Passport

By Jess Carey

 


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