Passata day has come and gone. It signifies the passing of yet another year where we’ve worked for our food. I’ve set up new vegetable gardens, constructed a poly tunnel, hunting for our meat, collected natures bounty from the forest floor, the coastal cliffs and now finally time for another important food task. preserving. Autumn is marked on the calendar as the time our hands and feet are busy carrying out tasks that serve us well during the frigid oncoming winter.
Passtata day is the penoltimate event in the food calendar. It’s marks the beginning and the end. Most importantly though it’s the celebration of the harvest season. It’s hard to grasp that it’s all over again. The years are like a darting swallows, they fly by quietly and swiftly.
As I write about it this day that has passed, I’m covered head to toe in Pendleton. One knitted cardigan and one woollen blanket covering my legs. The cold wind comes in from the window, I can hear it in the tree’s outside. A messenger of the changing season. I could close the window but I’m enjoying this feeling too much. It’s a reminder of time passing by. That time that never stands still. Its role; simply to taunt us.
Passata day has become not only a day to make a store of food for winter, it’s now much more. In some ways it’s our pagan celebration. We play music, we eat well, we drink, we laugh and become silly. The day is well balanced.
Simply instructions for the day.
Add frivolity and hard work, then mix well.
This year was the biggest and most festive of any passata day I’ve been to. At first I was grumpy about it becoming out of control. Later I accepted that this is the future for our passata day. Lots of people, lots more tomatoes and lots more passta turned. For me the whole aim of the day is to squish the summer out of those roma tomatoes, and bottle it for winter consumption. That job was done and dusted by mid afternoon. The rest of the day was allocated to fun. Now who can complain about that?
It’s amazing how a task has evolved to be a celebration. Food is such an integral part of our families life. The process of embracing a life of working for you food has brought about great benefits to our lifestyle. We look forward to annual food events in our calendar. Not food festivals, but family traditions that revolve around food. We’re no different to a family living in rural Spain, Italy or France in that each year we look forward to and then celebrate the arrival of something new, the harvest of something old and become excited the promise of future food. Does that make sense?
It’s a challenge to pen words to describe the benefits and enjoyment our lives are graced with by this type of living, my words simply don’t do it justice. I could lament for all those years being part of the mainstream food system, but there’s no point to that. Instead I can look to our future. Look to the many passata days, years ahead. Dream of all the new season wild mushrooms, the meat from the annual deer hunting season, the first new season corn, the first feed of tomato and so on. So many events in our lives are based around food. It’s a rewarding existence. I’m not sure it’s necessarily the best approach, but it sure works for us.