Is canning and preserving foods worth it

Well, it’s canning season again and the question arises…should I or shouldn’t I?

On cold snowy days in February I love to venture down to the pantry and pick out a canned jar of stewed tomatoes, pickles or sauce. However, I grumble on an annual basis during the sweltering month of August while standing for hours over a hot stove making my winter concoctions.

Does the work equal the reward? Is it cost effective? Is it safe? Well, I would say it’s like going out shopping at 3:00 A.M. on “Black Friday” for that special Christmas present. You’re tired and sluggish from the feast yesterday. Chances are you will be pushed and shoved, but alas…the goal. The brass ring. You made the personal sacrifice. You saved a few dollars and you made yourself and someone else happy too.

There is no government agency in my kitchen telling me what I can and can’t put into my recipes. That in and of itself is a free feeling.

When I buy half bushels of tomatoes, baskets of pickles and bushels of apples I’m supporting our local farmers. When I bring in vegetables from my own garden, I’m reaping what I sowed. I fell like a homesteader except I have all the modern conveniences and air conditioning. It’s a feeling of nostalgia. No products from China are in my canned goods, although you have to be careful with the garlic. China is trying to sneak this in wherever they can.

To me canning is an art form. Like a sculptor molding clay, you’re creating something to be enjoyed and shared with those most special to you. What an accomplishment.

So next year when I begin my rantings and the use of a few expletives, I’ll remember those wintry days of tasting the past summer’s crops and the smile on my loved ones’ and friends’ faces when handing them a quart of home goodness.

Is canning a pain? You bet it is…but, it is priceless when it comes to the rewards it offers.

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