September 1, 2010
My brother called while I was canning tomatoes. He said I was a housewife (his wife is too. And she runs marathons). I prefer hausfrau or shufu. They lend an air of weight and importance. The lady at the antiques store where I bought the canner was astounded that anyone still cans. Maybe she thought I was much too young to preserve food? The irony of purchasing a canner at an antiques store did not pass me by.
My mom once told me while we were canning jam that my grandma Ada loved the sound the lid makes when it seals. A resounding pop that signifies success. One of my jars let out the pop while I was in another room folding clothes. I couldn’t help smiling in self satisfaction. Another jar less willing to seal had to be placed on its head to encourage a seal. Success. (I’m pretty sure this is not a preferable method, but one we use when canning jams and jellies.)
My hard work payed off in 6 quarts of tomatoes. So little for so much effort. But I have great plans for more. Salsa, more tomatoes, peach, blueberry, and plum jam, orange marmalade, apple sauce and apple butter, spaghetti sauce.
Perhaps I will bring a jar of tomatoes by to the lady in the antiques shop. Preserving the plenty is not just a thing of the past.
(A lovely woman in the ward gave me this first batch of tomatoes to can. She grew them all in her garden. At the farmer’s market, they are selling a 25 pound box of tomatoes for 10 dollars.)