This is something that I was raised around and to this day have a love for. It is so methodical and sustainable. Although it is a lot of work, there is nothing like at the end of the day sitting back and looking at all the beautifully colored jars of fruits and vegetables that you will be enjoying for months to come.
Like most people in my neighborhood, when I was young my family had a huge garden My grandparents both had large gardens as well, even though by the time I was growing up they had shrunk down to the kitchen garden variety. Growing up in "coal country" Western Pennsylvania, you never knew if there was going to be work, so most people in the area took to growing their own veggies.
On a good year, this would lead to an overabundance of food. What to do? Can! My mom was not raised in a canning family, but my Dad was. He got all of this recipes and by phone emergency reference from my Grandma Ethel. She was the "all-knowing canner" in our family. To this day, I remember my Mom and Dad standing in the 90 degree kitchen in the middle of July and August making marinara sauce, pickling hot peppers, canning yellow wax beans, blanching broccoli to be frozen and canning peaches for my Dad's lunch box. The work that was done so we would have fresh homegrown food all year long! Then all would be lined up on the shelves in the basement; a rainbow of colored fruits and vegetables just waiting.
|My Garden Oasis|
As with most of my stories, these times became my "kitchen memories." Today, I have a garden of my own, it is not as big or grand as my parents, but I take a lot of pride in it. I try to do all things organic, use rain barrels and grow heirloom seeds. In my busy life of owning my own business, my garden is one of my oasis's where I can get lost for hours; much like my kitchen.
And Yes! when I have the opportunity and my little patch of land is bountiful- I can!
|One day's haul!|
|Bourbon Peach Jam|
|Hot Red Pepper Jelly|
|Strawberry Prosecco Jam|
|Sweet Potato Butter|
|Tomato Basil Jam|
|Tangy and Tart Refrigerator Pickles|
|Pickled Hot Wax Peppers or Jalapenos|
|Blackberry Lemon Thyme Jam|