Every week at the farmers market I am more and more amazed by the beauty and depth of available produce. The mountains of fresh corn and the overflowing heaps of beans and tomatoes. The colors and smells are like no other. It is like a gift for your eyes and your belly. I love everything about this time of the year except for the speed at which it ends. In an effort to preserve these flavors and experiences to enjoy when the sun has vanished…we have started to can.
I really enjoy canning. It evokes a profound sense of human connection for me, rooted in the history of food, time and each other. While canning, we all share a common bond of preserving today’s harvest to enjoy when the times are not as plentiful and abundant. It is an investment in my future foodie experiences and the best holiday gifts we have ever given. I truly believe that the most thoughtful gift you can give someone is something that you have created for them to consume. It is so personal and genuine. ”I really care for you and would like to nourish you.” Or, “I cant believe you stopped by unannounced on Christmas Eve and I happen to have your gift of Hot Dilly Beans right here.” What a coincidence. I am so glad you are here.
When deciding what to can, we let the market be our guide. The day Sandy was perusing, both the green beans and beets were gorgeous. I am addicted to Hot Dilly Beans and pickled beets. The finished beets are so outrageous we have affectionately named them,” Not Your Mama’s Beets.” I love them both on salads, in their own salads, on the side, on a fork…Clearly, we went with the beans and beets.
Canning is always a labor of love. We both worked full days on Saturday and Sunday …then started to can. At around midnight we were kind of looking at each other, silently wondering….”Who’s idea was this?” But once the finished jars start stacking up on the kitchen table…I could hear the choir of angels burst into a jazzy, kicked up version of Alleluia.
I want to run around the neighborhood with my beet stained hands exclaiming, “We are abundant in beautiful pickled and preserved foods! We will never go hungry again!” It makes me feel like I have won the food lottery. It also makes me feel proud of our investment in us. It does take time that most of us are short on, but preserving the beauty of the Summer’s best is so,so worth it. We are still planning on making marinara sauce, salsa and fig jam. I will keep you posted on the progress of the Can-A-Thon.
Have a delicious day. Can on.
Tags: buy local, canning, compassionate eating, dairy free, going veg, hot dilly beans, pickled beets, preserving, preserving seasonal foods, trying vegan, vegan, vegan challenge, vegan experience, vegan wannabe