This is the third year in a row that I have planted a straw bale garden. Each year, I try an evolving variety of vegetables. But every year I plant my most favorite vegetable: tomatoes. Gardening results are never guaranteed, but always anticipated. This year, those fresh-picked fruits graced my table right up until November. Yum!
And it’s not over yet. I have a supply of fresh-frozen heirloom tomatoes. My family is enjoying the flavor of homemade tomato sauce that is certain to continue into the winter months. The nurturing has paid off.
Dedicating time to grow any crop is a lot like investing in grandchildren – except their outcome is far more valuable. We don’t know how they will regard our words and examples throughout life; we cannot guarantee the results.
Our command from God is to lead them to our Savior. But only the Holy Spirit can convict them to accept the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus. We nurture our grandchildren to the glorify God, anticipating the eternally sweet taste of fellowship with them in His presence.
Quick and Easy Chunky Tomato Sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
5-½ cups chopped tomatoes (thawed fresh-frozen, or canned)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or, 1-½ Tablespoon dried basil)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or, 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Rub thawed, fresh-frozen tomatoes between fingers to remove skins; cut out cores and dice (or measure 5-½ cups canned, diced tomatoes). Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, saute 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. For thicker sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour or until desired consistency is reached.
Serve over pasta, polenta, or toasted baguette slices. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.