You get home, glad to be done with the crazy clients and crazier coworkers for the day. About six pounds of tomatoes lounge on the counter amid scraps of paper with weights and dates, or recipes from the Internet, scratched on them. “You have too much energy,” your husband tells you when you kiss him hello and tell him that you’re spending the evening in the kitchen. You put some garlic and the tomato-and-basil sourdough that’s been rising all day in the oven, and tell him brightly that he’s going to help by doing the dishes.

You weigh out two pounds of Roma and Zapotec Pleated and Tiger-Like tomatoes, rinse them briefly (“So you have to wash homegrown vegetables too?” your husband complains), and chop them up. You finely dice one onion, marveling that for once it’s not searing your eyes shut with its sulfuric-acid-making gases. You drop some oil into a pot and start it heating while you run outside–smiling at the sunflowers that are finally in full bloom–and pick several basil heads and oregano branches. The safflower seed heads you left for the birds are still there, unmolested, and you wonder whether that will last.

Inside, the oil is hot, so you add the onions and saute them until just tender, then add the tomatoes and a teaspoon of salt. You chop the herbs while the tomatoes get up to simmering. You remove the bread and garlic from the oven. The bread goes on a rack to cool and three cloves of roasted garlic go in the tomato sauce. Then you start washing and peeling and chopping your juicy, farmer’s market peaches, five or six at a time. Your husband further complains that since you’re peeling them, why wash the peaches? and you answer by popping a bit of peel, with some delectable flesh attached, into his mouth. He doesn’t ask you any other questions.

You reach four cups of chopped peaches, hands dripping, just as the tomatoes are thickening. You wash your hands, throw the herbs in, and let the sauce simmer a bit more while you put the peaches, a tablespoon of lemon juice, two-thirds of a cup of sugar, and a third of a cup of corn syrup into the food processor and hit ON. The peach puree goes into the ice cream freezer to become sorbet while you put water on to boil for pasta and get out the stick blender to smooth out the sauce.

Twenty minutes later you’re sitting at the dinner table, enjoying beets with balsamic vinegar and pasta with homemade sauce. The oregano should have gone in sooner, but that’s fixable in the next batch. You’d be looking forward to peach sorbet for dessert, but dinner is engrossing you. “The sauce is missing something,” your husband says, frowning. “What was that sauce we made before? With the canned paste?” You don’t throw anything at him because your stepsister-in-law is there, eating microwaved marshmallows with a fork, but you do resolve not to ask him to taste the salsa you’re planning to try the next night.

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