Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yes, We Can Can

I had a post in mind all weekend.  I really did.  Scout's honor.  But then we had today off and a kitchen full of produce from my family's farm, and I wanted to try my hand at canning.

My grandmother canned food when I was a young girl.  Rows of snaps, butter beans, preserves, and pickles filled her spare bedroom.  In many ways, she was the most self-sufficient person I've known.  And I've always wanted to emulate that quality.

But I don't think I ever will.  My grandmother lived in a different culture, one that dictated her role as keeper of the house who raised and stored the family's food with little help.  My dad, sister, and brother raised the 25 pounds of tomatoes that went into the tomato sauce.  My mom was on the other end of the helpline and walked me through the process.  My husband and I worked together to core and slice and puree and drain and simmer and can.  Self-sufficiency is great, but it isn't dictated for me like it was for her.  I didn't realize that until today.

So I look at the few cans of tomato sauce cooling and I see a bit of magic a family made.  No one did it alone.  Yet, I can still say I satisfied my longing, experienced a rite of passage, and made a conscious effort to maintain my heritage, and it happened much sooner than I expected.  That is what happens when we don't go it alone.



  1. I can't think of a better woman to emulate than your grandmother. She was remarkable and I thought the world of her.

  2. Thank you! That means a lot to me. Like I said, I'll fall short, but I've had some wonderful women set examples for me (you included).