Except for a short foray into to town today I have spent the entire day canning salsa. The house has never cooled down in spite of the air being on full blast so I’m hot. My back hurts and my feet are sore from standing. My hands are raw from peeling tomatoes, I darn near cut my finger off chopping onions and peppers and the reason I went to town was to get rubber gloves so I wouldn’t burn my eyes out. (Didn’t use them once and was I ever sorry).
All of this and still I still love to can my own salsa and a few other things as well. Why? My mother never canned a thing but my grandmother canned everything that stood still long enough to put it in a jar. My aunt still cans enough for her family of six every year though none of their children have been at home for well over 40 years. (Imagine the stockpile in the cold room.)
The grocery store is full of canned goods. I could just walk up to a shelf and buy anything I needed, probably for less than the cost of doing it myself.
The man who planted, maintains the vegetable garden and picked the tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and onions for me doesn’t really like the job but I notice he likes eating the finished product. He panics when he sees so many tomatoes, afraid they will go to waste. He even encourages me to give them away which I don’t like to do because I hate running out of tomato sauce in April.
So why do I like doing my own canning?
- I like knowing I won’t starve till next June.
- I like that I know what is in the jar.
- I like that I grew everything in the jar.
- I like knowing the stuff in jar isn’t full of chemicals.
- I like having it to give away as gifts – it is a very unique gift.
- I like the feeling of accomplishment it gives me.
- I like knowing I’m not going to run out of something between shopping trips.
- I like that I don’t have to do so much shopping.
- I like that it feels like I’m doing something valuable for my family.
- I like lining them up like soldiers in the cupboard, ready for the winter.
- I like to think Grandma would be proud.
- I like putting my feet up when it’s done and feeling like I’ve done something valuable.