Thursday, October 06, 2005

Canned Applause

It's been a while since I checked up on the authors of the Hundred-Mile Diet, but their latest entry, "Getting Canned," takes on a topic near and dear to my heart.

You've probably read some of my entries throughout the summer about making and canning jam or pickles... or canning pears and peaches and tomatoes and carrots... and the list goes on.

I'm lucky in that I learned how to can from my grandmother and the Chef Mother because it has made it easier for me to preserve the fruits of my labor... or the local fruits of someone else's... and to enjoy these local foods throughout the year.

I'm delighted to have been able to share some of these skills with other people, such as the lovely Phoenix, or to see others learn such skills on their own (and here I pause to think fondly of the jar of rose hip jam my Granola Girl gave me for Christmas one year).

I'm not sure how many people out there continue to can, freeze, or dry the summer's harvest aside from folks who do live on small farms or in rural areas, or who have long maintained these summer rituals. It's not enough, surely, because I know far too many people (my contemporaries and even my parents' contemporaries) who are clueless about this wonderful exercise in home economics.

But those of you who do... well, my hat's off to you. After all the work I've done in my own kitchen this year, I have a greater appreciation for those people who, both in the past and the present, have preserved all or almost all of what they've grown. It's a lot of hard work, and it truly is best shared with a friend.

But the results are definitely worth a standing ovation.


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