Every summer, our canning days are numerous. I love it.
We’ve been canning for a very long time, our whole adult life, really. I guess for me my adult life is pretty clear when it started. I count it when I married Mark (18 years ago), and moved to the US to live together, as a couple in our own home, just us, ready to start and create what we called home.
My mom used to can lots of things, and made yogurt (I think it was kefir), and pickled and fermented foods on the counter, made jams and ketchup. I remember so clearly the kitchen where I grew up and the shelf where she put the canned goods, but mostly where the ketchup was. I didn’t like it back then, so it seemed like she made too much of it, in my (young) taste. I should try it myself some time now, and see what I think.
So, when we started our own home, canning was the thing we knew we could do. Neither one of us had done it by ourselves. Mark had helped his grandma and I had kinda’ helped (mostly watched I think) my mom, and neither one of us had any idea of the specifics of preserving. But we were ready to do it, because we knew we could do it. Somehow it seemed like we had done before.
Back then there weren’t as many Farmer’s Markets so we bought the fruits and vegetables at the store and canned some. Being new to Portland, new to this country, we learned to navigate our way in the area. More and more farms were starting to open up for costumers to pick their own fruits and vegetables, which we really enjoyed and had our favorites. But we were mostly ready to start our own garden. And so we did.
And we still have a garden. One that changes each year. Changes the design and its content. And also of helping hands. It is amazing, and I love it. Sometimes it feels like too much. Too much work, too much to do, too many plants, too many weeds. Not enough time to do it all, even with a small-ish space to grow. But it keeps going. It seems that it keeps growing no matter what we do. So we take care of it. As best as we can.
We make rhubarb syrup from the rhubarb plants we have. We freeze this, but we tried to can one this time. We’ll see how it works out.
And no matter what we plant, there’s always time for us to go to the farms and pick what we like to preserve.
There’s been quite a few late nights so far and many wet and hot jars being handled. But there’s nothing like hearing few minutes later that beautiful clicking sound the lids do, when they are all done doing their job. A beautiful sound indeed.