Monday, January 31, 2011

Cyclone Bianca vs The Saucy Minx

January and February are crazy times of the year. It's hot; you're broke and still recovering from the excesses that are Christmas and New Year. It's also the time of year where Italian families everywhere gather around someones backyard with crates of tomatoes ready for saucing.

There's Dean Martin's Che La Luna Mezza Mare song playing in the background while Zia brings around freshly made pizza and piping, hot espresso to get you through the morning - cue International Wog Day!

This year though it proved a little tough for la famiglia, with a category 4 cyclone by the name of Bianca trying to ruin the party. All weekend we were on Bianca watch trying to work out if it was even possible to go ahead with the sauce-making parade and would our tomatoes be OK the following week if Bianca hit.

You see it's all about timing when it comes to sauce making. The tomatoes have to be delivered at just the right moment and then it's action time with a production line of de-corers, boilers, mincers, bottlers, cappers and storers.

So..... after getting the all clear from Bianca we were good to go on Sunday morning (6am people) and I was put on de-coring duties and with 23 crates to get through let me tell you it was no easy task.  Slicing tomato after tomato and disposing of the green core filling the bucket ready for boiling, all up taking the six of us fours hours to clear.

After de-coring the tomatoes, they are sent to the boilers and this usually done by the men of the family (in this case it was two of the older cousins) who than boiled and minced the tomatoes ready for bottling.

This year the bottling task went to the brother-in-law who with precision and grace completed it in record time. Once the bottles are filled, it's then time for capping, boiling (again) and voila we have sauce ready to eat.  Saucy Minx 1 - Cyclone Bianca 0!

Here's a picture diary of the day:
Step 1: Cutting out the core of the tomato (in a bathtub no less)

Step 2: Getting rid of all the skins and mincing through

Step 3: Placing the sauce through a funnel-based container and into a bottle

Step 4: Placing bottles in crates ready to be capped

Step 5: Dinner is served
Do you have family, food traditions that you keep? Or do you make a mean pasta sauce? I'd love to hear from you Bx


  1. Yay for Sauce!!!
    Only 1 Skip on duty...

  2. Greetings from a new foodie blogger

    Hi there!

    My name is Steve Walters and I recently started blogging at, which is currently being updated with recipes, but in the next few months will be my vehicle for covering the food and restaurant scene in Bangkok Thailand.

    I am now in the process of meeting as many food bloggers as I can and I found your site recently and was pretty impressed. I've added your site to my Foodie Blogs list here: and would also like to add you to my blogroll.

    If you could add my site to your blogroll and write back to let me know it has been added (foodie [at] I will add you to mine as well and the exchange would be greatly appreciated!

    As you might imagine I am very excited to get moved to Bangkok and get started on covering the food scene there as I feel it is an area that isn't well covered by English speaking bloggers. I plan on adding loads of great reviews, pictures and even video and will be holding contests as well. It should be fun, entertaining and informative for everyone that visits.

    Thank you so much in advance for adding me to your blogroll and I look forward to reading your posts (I've subscribed!) and maybe even featuring some of your own posts as I do plan on a weekly roundup of Thai themed recipes and posts from other food bloggers.

    Warm regards,

    P.S. If you are on Twitter I would love to have you as a follower and I follow back:



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