First I made strawberry jam, then I preserved peaches and then I made gooseberry jam–my dad and I picked baskets of the berries at the farm. I froze the extras and plan on turning them into tarts in the winter in addition to concocting lovely foods with the rhubarb I sliced and froze, the zucchini I grew, grated and froze and the bushel of red peppers (more than 50 of them!!) I roasted and froze. I also made mint jelly from the farm mint and this weekend, my sister and I spent two days canning tomatoes (I also froze some tomatoes to be used as the base for curries). Oh, and then there was the chard I grew, steamed and froze and the peach pie filling that’s also in the freezer. Next I’ll prepare some grape jelly and then stash away some cauliflower and broccoli. And I can’t forget to dry some of my dad’s apples too. I was going to try to make pickled beets and preserved pears but gosh darn it, I’m tired!
I feel like a pioneer. I work all day, feed and put the kids to bed and then descend to the kitchen to work some more. Let’s face it, too much work is not exactly fun. One of the benefits of technology is that it has freed the vast majority of the population from being farmers and constant producers of food. Thanks to many modern inventions we have leisure time.
And now, I find I am using my leisure time to stock up my larder for the winter, the same activities my foremothers had no choice but to do. There I am, the feminist food writer toiling over a vat of boiling water. But then, it is my choice to do this. And in so doing, I am reconnecting with my food, with the food cycle, taking at least a little control of my food security and … feeling like a pioneer.