Home Canning is getting “Back To Basics” for me…back to my childhood. During the summer, I could be found along side my mom at the kitchen sink canning bushels of fruit and veggies for the approaching winter. It wasn’t much fun at the time… being out with my friends was far more appealing. After my marriage license was sign, I swore, the wretched activity would never be repeated again.
Wrong! About the middle of each June, my mom would call on the phone. “The beets are on,” she would chirp. Acting like a robot, I would order the beets from the farmer. This ritual, in some form, would be repeated the entire summer and into the fall.
So…here we go… with a list of the wretched activity that was not going to be part of my married life.
June: picked beets, strawberry jam, apricots, apricot nectar, apricot jam, dried apricot, dried apricot leather, cherries, cherry jam, frozen pie cherries, dried cherry leather, maraschino cherries, Queen Anne cherries.
July: dill pickles, sweet pickles, sweet pickle relish, bread and butter pickles, dilly beans, mustard pickles, pickled vegetables, frozen corn.
August: peaches, peach jam, pears, pear butter, dried pears, plums, dried plums, frozen fruit compote, raspberry jam
September: tomato juice, snappy tom, stewed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, chili sauce, salsa, green tomato relish.
October: chili, bottled fresh trout, corned deer meat, apple sauce, apple pie filling, dried apples, grape juice
I now look at the list of items I preserved in the past and it makes my brain rattle in my head. However, there was great pleasure in going into my fruit room and seeing all the bottles lined up on the shelves. When the door was closed there was a sense of security and a feeling of well being in my soul.
When my kids were small, the home canning helped my family through some tough financial times. It was then, I felt gratitude toward Mom… who taught me well.
Still, one year I let a bushel of apples rot on the back porch… just too exhausted to put them in canning jars. When they ended up in the garbage… I said to myself, “Enough is enough… my canning days are over.” However, I did keep all my canning jars.. just in case I ever changed my mind.
For years, the case lot sales was the direction I went for my winter supply. I won’t tell you how many years ago that was… but as the years went by… my memory dulled… and the hankering to do a little home canning came back. At that point, I home canned just for pleasure. A little of this and a little of that.
This year…my hankering was a pretty strong and I dragged out my canning supplies. Dill pickles, tomato juice, stewed tomatoes, and whole tomatoes sit on my storage shelves. One afternoon… a bushel of peaches landed in the back of my car. Hmmm… what’s this all about? It was the “Back To Basics” stirring in my soul…. and the fact I need to be better prepared for an emergency.
Now, everyone doesn’t have the availability of the fruits and veggies to take on home canning… and in some cases… it might be less expensive to go to the case lot sale and purchase the items. My shelves have case goods on them too.
The point I’m trying to make is, whether you do a little home canning or buy case lots, having a little extra food on hand in case of an emergency can put your mind and heart at ease. And, if no emergency arises… great…. additional food on your shelves is sure convenient.
But… since you never know… it’s best to be prepared.
P.S. We had our first frost here in Utah County… and the grapes are ready… Hmmm… got that “Back To Basics” feeling stirring again in my soul again. Cold frosty grape juice would sure be nice in January. Apples…. applesauce…. pie filling…….Hmmm.