Earlier this year I had grand visions of all the canning I would do with this year's produce. In true fashion of someone who is a planner, I had it all figured out: enough of the things we enjoy to last us into next year and extra jars of jellies, jams, and salsa to give to family and friends as gifts. And, in true fashion of someone who is a planner, the realities of this year's growing season and a busy fall forced me to adapt some of those plans. (Hmm, come to think of it, this entire past year has been a pretty big lesson to my inner planner, but that's a whole other post)
But despite the fact that life sometimes just gets in the way of the best of plans, I did mange to stock our pantry with quite a few jars of banana pepper rings, salsa, tomato sauce, and raspberry jam. I guess applesauce, apple jelly, and strawberry rhubarb jam will have to wait for next year.
This is another one of those things that I think my younger self would look at me now and go, Really? I helped my mom do a lot of canning back in the day: pickles, jams & jellies, tomatoes, applesauce... but I never really got into it in the same way that I'm fascinated with it now. In fact, now when I'm standing in the kitchen with a steaming pot of jam, reading the Sure Jell instructions, I'm wishing I had paid more attention to what my mom did!
I never really thought about it much until a few weeks ago when Mike and I went to a Veteran's Day program. They had a special focus on World War II and during one of the tributes to the Veterans, they were displaying Victory Garden posters.
It made me stop and think a bit about the tradition of gardeners and canners in my family. It's kind of cool to think about how a lot of the knowledge my mother shared with me has been passed down from my grandmother and her mother, and it's humbling to think about the necessity with which they had to do it. But then again, my generation has its own kind of necessity.
All of this reinforces my own desire to grow and eat more local foods and to keep some of these traditions going. For my own children someday, I hope that I can do well in grounding them in the context of history and their lineage of North Dakota and Minnesota farm families. Hopefully, I will figure out how to make it fun and cool, so they don't look at me and go, Really?
The vintage Victory Garden poster can be found here and the "Victory Garden of Tomorrow" Etsy shop can be found here. Both are on my wishlist for the office wall!
Labels: canning, local, peppers, raspberries, tomatoes