Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Oh Boy, Canning

Right after I write this post, well – really after lunch – I’m going to be in the kitchen canning. It’s that season again. I can’t even tell you why I do it. I mean beets aren’t that expensive and neither are frozen peas. But I was bit by the “putting food by” bug way back in the 70’s. We lived in New Jersey then. Our crops of tomatoes were phenomenal. They don’t (or didn’t) call it the garden state for nothing. That’s where I learned to make tomato ketchup. I’ve been hooked every since.

There’s something about having a store of food you’ve put up yourself that’s satisfying on the same level as having a safe full of jewelry or a cask of gold coins under the bed or a whole new box of crisp white envelopes in your desk. Uh – wait – scratch that last one. The office manager in me escapes every once in a while and it’s so embarrassing.

Anyway, this year I’ll have beets and green beans to put up along with pickles and any number of tomato-y things. Like Peruvian Sauce. Bet you don’t know what that is. I found it in an old Ball Blue Book of canning that I’ve had from the onset of my obsession. It’s a relish that uses tomatoes and apples. I know, I know. Yuck – right? But those blue book people wouldn’t have put it in there if it wasn’t good so I gave it a shot. There are spices and other things in the mix and the first time I made it my kitchen smelled like heaven. Oh yes it did. And the sauce is so good a recent visitor cleaned the bowl I’d put on the table for our supper. He piled the last two tablespoons onto my awesome garlic bread and wolfed it down. Made my heart glad.

I guess that’s why I do it. It happy’s up my heart to go down to the basement and see all those jars full of food beaming back at me. People who quilt, run, bird watch, whip out a camera every time they think they see Johnny Depp, or read long into the night will relate. We’re the glad-hearted ones who are out there doing it and loving life.

So, off I go. I’ll turn the radio on and listen to Rush – yes I listen to Rush, get over it – while I scrape and boil and fill those jars up with the garden. My Grandma Blaine would be so proud.   

See that picture up there? It's just a foretaste of the things to come. I may need stamina prayers.


  1. I'm trying to get over you listening to Rush (I will... I will!) but wanted to tell you that I admire you so much (except for the fact that you lis... never mind, never mind!) You truly are an incredible woman with so many facets of talent. Enjoy the fruits of your labor... and the vegetables, too!

    Okay, I'm over it. Love you just the way you are!

    1. LOL Well, I have my faults as you point out. =0) The bugs are eating a lot of the fruits of our labor. Dang rain! I'll take a pic of my loaded shelves later in the summer. A sight to behold!

  2. Hi, Susan:

    I enjoy gardening too, and had to comment on this post in particular because my next post will (probably) be on collard greens, which are growing beautifully in my garden! I don't can or jar anything (yet), but I do pick from the garden and immediately cook. We have a teeny tiny garden, so we use up all of the vegetables we grow--tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, zucchini, squash, and collards. We tried for eggplant this year and got zilch. We're experimenting with different veggies and finding what grows best in our soil.

    As for Rush, I will tell you that my husband and I listen to all of the talking heads. We listen to conservatives, liberals, and everyone in the middle. That's how we get info from all sides and get all of the facts, or else there is too much of a spin put on by both the conservatives and the liberals. (I actually think liberals are worse with the spin, but I don't want to start a comment war here! My two cents.)

    Enjoy the canning! Check out my collard green recipe tomorrow. :-)

    1. Hi Janette! I'll check out your collards recipe. I'm partial to beet greens myself and have been using them on our sandwiches. Yummy. I listen to a few talking heads, but only while I'm in one place for long enough - like baking and canning. LOL