Wait a sec, that's not true. I bought the odd box of peaches or plums before that, and wished I knew how to can things because it would be so nice to taste peaches in mid-winter!
Since then, I've inherited a barrel full of gem jars from back alley Ruby, who is now almost 102 and in a retirement home. I blessed Ruby this week as I was canning spaghetti sauce, and I blessed the women who figured out canning in the first place. I bless my grandmother and my mother for being canners before me. I bless my neighbour Mary and my Auntie Cathy for sharing their dill pickle recipes with me. I bless my friend Cathy for being the first person my age who canned her own salsa, for inspiring me to try it myself.
There's no shortage of information on the internet, or at most libraries, about how to go about preserving food. Sure, it requires more effort than going to the grocery store and picking a jar off a shelf, but if everyone on the planet were living more simply and sustainably, we'd all be taking part in trying to produce and preserve at least a little bit of what we eat. Better than having it jacked up with chemicals and shipped thousands of miles from canning plants in faraway places with strange-sounding names. Tuesday, a few hours' work gave me 13 jars of very yummy spaghetti sauce that we'll enjoy throughout the year, no chemicals or grocery stores required.
Canning is just one of many small, self-reliant things we can do for ourselves that is also good for our planet.
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