Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Canning Crazed, Reblogged

This is a post I wrote last year in my other blog, http://confessingmom.blogspot.com/ . I thought I would repost it on this site since it's applicable. That, and I have no recipes for today while I play catchup on housework and Mommyhood.

Canning Crazed
Hi. My name is Mommy, and I have a canning addiction. At least that's what my husband tells me. He says I need to get some help. He suggested therapy and possibly some step programs. But he doesn't mean it. Not really anyway.
In truth, I know he's secretly pleased with his wife's mad home ec skills. He's appreciative of how little money I've invested in this endeavor, yet how much it will save us in the long run. He openly brags on how good everything has tasted. He's particularly fond of the salsa. So much so, that I've had to make numerous follow up batches to replenish our diminishing supply. Fortunately, I found a vendor in my hometown willing to sell tomatoes for $.50 a pound.
I grew up in a family that canned, dried, froze, pickled, and preserved food. To this day any time I smell fresh dill I am immediately brought back to my parents' divorce because my granny was canning dill pickles at that time.
To "put up", as they called it, was a necessity from days past, but they continued on because it's what you did. It saved countless pennies and tasted far better than anything you could find on the grocer's shelves. These are the same reasons I enjoy doing these same rituals. I like knowing what's in my family's food. I like knowing where my food comes from.
Some have told me I'm crazy for doing this. I probably am, but not for that reason. Many have been extremely supportive. I think they're just paving the way to a few handouts. And that's okay. Partly why I've canned so much this year is to give away as Christmas gifts. Then there have been a small number that have made comments predicting that we'll never eat all that we've made based upon their own canning experiences. To that I say, "Don't rain on my parade."
And, then there's my grandmother who's proud. She's so proud that her ways have made such a huge impact upon my life and the way I'm raising our family. It makes me happy to see her so pleased with my efforts. It made me down right giddy to see how she thoroughly enjoyed the jar of Apple Pie In A Jar. She had half the jar finished by the time I left her house.
As is the case in any addiction, I'm not alone. I've a friend who loves canning just as much as I do. She too grew up in the canning culture. So, for the past month she's loaded up her two year old daughter, supplies, produce from her garden and her CSA box, and headed to my house for all day canning sessions. Fortunately, her daughter is Firstborn's girlfriend. While we're ladling hot spoonfuls of homemade goodness into Ball jars they're having the time of their short lived lives. It usually ends up with both of them pants-less. But, that's another story for another day.
We've been quite successful in our endeavors. Between the both of our gardens, her CSA box, my father's neighbor and their apple trees, we've not had to purchase much produce. We've pickled peppers and squash. We've made marmalades, preserves, pie fillings, two different types of pepper jelly, fruit jellies, salsa, and even more salsa. We've frozen peaches, squash, and zucchini. We've dried peppers. We've even made a spicy peach barbecue sauce and a spicy/sweet Thai dipping sauce. We were just showing out at that point.
We've no plans of slowing down either. We've plans to visit the local farmer's market this weekend to see what we can come up with. We're gearing up for phase two of our canning craze and that involves our pressure cookers. Soups, broths, and anything else we can come up with are all fair game. Our preserving cookbooks haven't steered us wrong yet.
Hubby can continue to claim that I have an illness, an addiction if you will. I don't mind just as long as he doesn't get in my way in the kitchen. Besides, I can stop any time I want.