This afternoon my sister-in-law Jenna is coming over so that we can spend hours in the kitchen making jam from the bounty of strawberries we got via our CSA.
It will take hours. We will end up covered in strawberry juice and the kitchen will be coated in a liberal splattering of sugar and various sticky substances. In the end, we’ll probably end up with a few dozen jars of strawberry jam. Delicious, kid-pleasing jam, to be sure; but when you consider all the time and effort and money we’ll have sunk into it by the end, probably not very economical jam.
But despite the opportunity cost, I love to can. It’s fun. It’s satisfying to take a basic, whole food and make something completely different out of it. It’s pleasurable to feel a little more in touch with the kind of work my grandmothers and great-grandmothers may have spent their summer afternoons doing. It’s rewarding to spend time with a friend making something tangible that can be enjoyed by our families.
Canning is definitely not the easy route to a jar of tomato sauce or a pint of jam, but to me it’s the more satisfying way.
What do you do “the hard way”…just because you love it?
If you’ve been wanting to start canning but aren’t sure where to begin, check out my Babble post: Canning for Klutzes in 20 Easy Steps