Sweet Pickles

I grew up around women who could handle food. They cooked, they canned, and they planted. It seemed like someone was always canning something or cooking something. Our lives revolved around food. I guess that is true for many people. We have dinners, we go out to eat, we grab a bite together….food rules us.

I’ve always canned. I cannot begin to imagine how many jars I have filled with something edible. I’ve canned apples, peaches, apricots, plums, pears, cherries, pineapple, blueberries, and many types of jam. I am not good at making jam. Making jam requires a lot of attention to detail and a lot of patience. I don’t have enough of either of those to make jam. I’ll start out very optimistic and determined. There always comes a point when I’m hot and sticky and sure that I’ve scooped enough foam off the boiling mess and who really cares anyway because runny jam is awesome on pancakes. I give up and just kind of seal up whatever the fruit has turned into.

Needless to say, we really don’t eat the jam. Yes, a few jars made it onto the pancakes, but the rest just sat in the cupboard for years. Silently judging me through the glass doors.

There were stares from more than just jam if I’m being honest.

There was a time when I must have had too much time on my hands. I canned anything I could stuff in a jar. Cauliflower and jalepenos, full plums with the pits, celery, and lots and lots of lentils. I’m sure I had a plan at some point in the process, but that disappeared.

It was just a few weeks ago when I decided it was time. Time to own up to my failures and clear the slate. I have had many people over to my house to ask me about my canning. Yes, it is all in that glass front cupboard, right in the very easy to see dining room. I point out what is in the jars…silently cursing myself for still having so many jars I know are not good. I had to take them out.

It feels good. I have open spots on my shelves here and there. I also brought down a plethora of board games to have on hand. We are much more likely to play a board game than to open a jar of peaches. Go figure.

When I was a kid, we ate everything we canned. If we hadn’t, we would have starved. It wasn’t a badge of honor to can for my mom and grandma, it was a way to feed the family; to prepare for the long cold proverbial winter. It was a good plan and it worked.

I’m being forced into a more modern food set. Not only did I end up throwing away a ton of ‘food’ that had gone well past an expiration date, I also had to throw out two big bags of tortilla chips. Yes, apparently they can go bad. go figure. We actually DO eat those! Seriously…how am I supposed to plan for my own long cold proverbial winter?

My body has an answer…it is storing all the extra food in my back fat. Here and there…when I couldn’t notice it slowly filling in all the little gaps…it’s there. I could last a while I think. Thanks body…?

Maybe I just need a bigger freezer…cause I said so.

Photo credit: https://www.customon.com

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