Preserving Food And Memories

This image comes from my whirlwind trip to Ohio’s Amish Country this fall. The Farm At Walnut Creek is a working farm where you can see people farming, cooking and handling animals. Inside the house, the basement kitchen was a bustling place during my visit.

My nose led me inside to purchase warm loaves of homemade bread but I lingered a while to observe their activity. I enjoyed listening to the ladies speak to one another in their Pennsylvania Dutch and watched as they toiled about their work.

But the thing I liked best here was this wall of homemade canned goods.

Both of my grandmothers canned vegetables, fruits and meats – most of it stuff they raised themselves. This activity was common for their generation but it’s increasingly rare to hear people talk about canning today.

I’m all for the old ways but, if I can’t freeze it, I am not going to mess with it.

Yet, I have fond memories of green beans, homemade pickles and fresh grape juice canned to enjoy another day.

The mere sight of all those rows of canned goodies was enough to take me back to the sweltering kitchens of my childhood. It was here that food was prepared and giant pots of boiling water were used to vacuum seal dozens of lids on jars for another day.

It’s both a survival tool and an act optimism that you will indeed survive the seasons long enough to enjoy all that good food. I would love to announce that canning will be my next new hobby. But, as long as I have freezer space and a supply of ziplock bags, this will not be the case.

Instead, I’ll just enjoy the picture and the memories of green beans on a cold winter day.