My grandfather and father made chili sauce each August. I reckon this was a way to deal with the copious tomatoes and peppers which flooded the the counter tops and picnic tables at the end of the growing season. I have distinct memories of the smell. Chili sauce has a heavy, sweet, vinegar, and tomato smell, which hangs in the air. In the hot August heat, it used to make me gag. It was too heavy, too odiforous for an elementary school kid. When my dad was cooking chili sauce, I had to go outside. Come to think of it, with summer break winding down, maybe that’s why he made it then.
I decided a couple of years ago, that I would try to make it. I wanted to pass along the same memory to my kids. The crowning achievement of this endeavor was when, after returning from school the day I was making chili sauce, he took a few steps into the house and exclaimed, “Ewe, what is that SMELL?”
Mission accomplished. Now he will remember August, in a way similar to the way I remember August.