12 Jul


Growing up in the country a couple of miles outside of the city limits of Hobbs, New Mexico, we were accustomed to fresh produce form our gardens.  In addition my mom canned and froze much of the vegetables we grew.  Every summer we sat on the porch as we still do at Gramma’s house, shucking corn, shelling peas, scrubbing potatoes.  Inside, jars and lids are prepared while a huge pot on the stove simmers next to the pressure cooker .  

My husband and I bought a home in February and within two weeks of having our baby, I was outside planting the garden.  I have put away a very small variety of vegetables but this year is just an experiment.  It is my first experience with canning although I have made jelly over the past few years. 

I love things homemade.  Recently I was talking to a friend by phone and we were discussing cooking and how many people these days, particularly women who don’t cook and don’t know how much less want to cook.  That led to the next subject:  survival.  Do you have what it takes to survive if your source of income was taken away and you had to live off the land?  Not to get to extreme, would you know what to do with some vegetable garden plants, utensils, and a summer to prepare? 

I can’t say I am a pro at this by any means, but I love doing it.  I have control over what goes into my foods in terms of preservatives, salt, etc.  I also control preserving how my food tastes.   I tend to buy too much food when I go to Sprouts in Dallas or at the local farmers markets in the rural areas.  And I really hate anything going to waste.  Now that I am learning to do my own canning, I am turning this preservation method into culinary art. 

The photo above is of my very first jars of black eyed peas from my first garden at this home.  There is nothing special about these peas in terms of seasonings.  The first day of every year, our family eats black eyed peas traditionally.  I don’t know why but it’s just what we do and we always look forward to it. 

Now, I’ve got about 16 cups of blackberries in my freezer from this season.  I will be adding to it.  But first, tonight, I must make my own blackberry sorbet. 



Posted by on July 12, 2009 in Photography, Texas


6 responses to “Canned

  1. lowandslow

    July 12, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I love the idea of a garden, canning, and such…..but then I saw those dastardly black eyed peas. Ewwwww. Yes I eat ’em for luck on New Years Day, ’cause I’m scared not to. 🙂


  2. wildstorm

    July 12, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    LOL, S, they are good for you!!

  3. Roslyn

    July 12, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    When I lived in the country. I always canned because we had a huge garden. Yes I could live off the land. I like too cook most of the time and I sure am glad I know how to do these things. Did you know you can make jelly from Kool-aid. Jim’s grandmother use too do this during the Great Depression.


  4. wildwesty

    July 12, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I don’t enjoy cooking, but I can if necessary. I tried canning and stuff like that years ago, but I have no place to store stuff, and then they go bad from sitting on shelves too long. Being single, there’s no one to use the stuff up and my kids have NO interest.

  5. burstmode

    July 13, 2009 at 8:18 am

    We eat the blackeyed peas, too. When I lived in the country we used to…wait…I have never lived in the country.

  6. wildstorm

    July 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Roslyn, I heard about the Kool-Aid jelly from my gramma.
    Westy, the important thing is that you CAN cook!! Storage space can be a huge problem. =)
    Michael, I thought you lived on a sprawling ranch in Bolivia. I get so confused.


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