Preserving the harvest

Did you have a grandma with shelves full of jewel-toned jars in the basement?  Jars that looked and smelled of summer? I didn't, either.  But I had a mom who did all that - we had canned cherries and cucumbers and jams of all colors and it was glorious.  I always took that for granted. You were out of strawberry jam? Hop into the basement and pull of fresh jar from the shelf.  Yum.  You know what else I always took for granted?  The work it took to make these beauties. My mom worked full-time and had three kids.  How did she do all this?

Because it's a lot of work.

I spent all morning in the kitchen and my meager results are 7 liters of frozen tomato sauce, and about ten little containers with basil pesto and cilantro in oil, also in the freezer.  Oh, and three sheets of dried apple rings which amounts to exactly 1.5 apples.  So go and appreciate your grandmother, aunt, mother or whoever does this in your life, right now.

It was not only a lot of work, it also created a lot of mess.  Getting the skin off the tomatoes needs blanching and icing them, same with the herbs so they don't get all brown and icky.

Wash, rinse, repeat next weekend.  And I haven't even started on the jams yet!

  Before you ask, why the oven? Don't you have lots of sun there? Yes, we do.  We also have lots of flies. And electricity is ridiculously cheap, and green.  Next time you make apple chips from scratch in the sun, you may judge me.

Before you ask, why the oven? Don't you have lots of sun there? Yes, we do.  We also have lots of flies. And electricity is ridiculously cheap, and green.  Next time you make apple chips from scratch in the sun, you may judge me.