As the sun went down on Saturday’s first Crowdsaucing Day a tired, happy sauce-stained sigh of relief and a little disbelief could be heard from various Fair Food staff around the city. Probably none more so than organiser, Monique Miller, who on Friday morning an hour before tomatoes were supposed to be despatched wasn’t sure whether there’d actually be any tomatoes to sauce. Just in the nick of time the tomatoes came (I could kiss you Mick Ponte from Melba Fresh) and the next day in 160 kitchens and backyards around Melbourne about 500 people washed and cut, blanched and peeled, moulied and puréed and bottled and boiled about 4,000 bottles of passata.
On Saturday I dropped into two local Crowdsaucings; first down at Joe’s Garden in Coburg my heart soared seeing Jean Garita, our market garden mentor Joe’s wife, holding forth over the largest stainless steel pot in Melbourne (that’s Jean with the two hirsute gents in the photo at the top left corner). Meanwhile down at the CERES Community Kitchen there was kind of a beautiful calm you see when a group of like-minded strangers come together to do something purposeful.
So there it is, 4000 potential meals sitting on shelves around Melbourne and every bottle cracked brings back memories of this day we spent together with our familiars or people we didn’t know before, when we made sauce and supported tomato farmers, talking and laughing and working out how we do this preserving thing that our grandparents and their grandparents did without thinking for generation after generation….