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Multi-Tasking in the Kitchen

July 21, 2010

This post isn’t art related at all, unless you count the creativity and gorgeousness of home canned vegetables.

This morning I started at around 6:30, processing more vegetables that we bought yesterday over the Tennessee line in Amish Country. That quick trip was beautiful in itself, and I didn’t take my camera with me. I promise next time I will. But we came home with green beans, beets, and purple hull peas for canning.

You see, canning is something I’ve had very little experience with over the years, but is an honored tradition in my family. My mother and sister always canned things. I remember helping them some, but mostly I just got married young, left home and raised kids. So my next years were spent trying to stay afloat and juggle work and motherhood.

Now that there’s a little more time for gardening and all the wonderful things that go with it, I needed to reconnect with those traditions.

My sister has lent me both a water bath and a pressure canner. I can probably keep them for the foreseeable future, because she seems to have gotten all that out of her system now. I will get over it too, but it was something I had to do.

Here is our growing collection of colorful things for winter enjoyment. I’m not finished yet. I don’t think I’ll ever get done snapping those green beans.

My neighbor came over with her toddler this afternoon and helped for a while. She knows she needs to stay on our good side, so she can have a jar of pickles now and then.

It was a long, hot, tiring day, but so very rewarding.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Candy Glendening permalink
    July 22, 2010 2:11 am

    Oh those look splendid Martha – you’ll be so happy you did this come winter time!

  2. July 22, 2010 3:16 am

    Looks like it will taste fabulous. Great photo, too 🙂

    • July 22, 2010 12:15 pm

      Gypsy, I think they will taste wonderful knowing all the work that went into them! Thanks so much.

  3. Kim Radatz permalink
    July 22, 2010 9:58 am

    Martha,

    FANTASTIC! Wow, what a beautiful bunch of stuff you put up! Do they still say that? I don’t know where the expression came from, but I made a piece in undergraduate school and called it “Putting Up My Thoughts.” It was a small cupboard with black and white images of myself and my family while I was growing up. Every shelf had jars of all sizes and each one had text sandblasted onto the glass jar. The insides were filled with different items relating to the text. (You’ve seen the shelf in my foyer with other items on it. The jars are lined up in my studio window.) Interesting piece, one I still enjoy.

    I hope you and Jim enjoy your efforts this winter and are reminded of your first garden in your new home.

    xoxo
    kim

    • July 22, 2010 12:20 pm

      Thank you, Kim. Yes! They do use the same terms — nothing has changed when it comes to gardening and canning. I’m so intrigued here by the different lifestyles people grew up with contrasted with their current ways. A neighbor on one side has a garden, but grew up in the country where gardening was a chore shared by the whole family, and summer vacation was anything but for her and her siblings. So for her there isn’t much glamour to it. Then on the other side is my neighbor who has never stepped foot in a garden. Then there’s me, who wants very much to just be a part of my family traditions even if only on a smaller scale.

      There is a lot of art inspiration in these thoughts, isn’t there? I do indeed remember your cupboard in the foyer. Wish I had seen it with the jars.

  4. July 22, 2010 9:10 pm

    “… unless you count the creativity and gorgeousness of home canned vegetables…”

    I do, I do, I do, yeah, I do. Your pantry is making my tummy growl! 😀

  5. July 22, 2010 10:31 pm

    You are simply amazing…. these jars of fresh grown vegetables are absolutely beautiful and the future meals with special friends by candle light will refresh your body and soul….Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

    • July 23, 2010 6:26 am

      Thank you, Mary Helen. I am amazed at all the colors and shapes inside the jars. Opening the first one will be an event, I’m sure! And candles, of course there will be candles.

  6. July 22, 2010 10:45 pm

    Whoa, girl you have got the country in ya! looks delicious! dose this inspire any new collages or paintings…

    • July 23, 2010 6:28 am

      Toni, these really are inspiring. I now see why a mason jar of vegetables or fruit is a favorite subject for painters. As for the country, it’s something I’ve really always longed for. If I were younger I’d want to be farther out away from everything, but it’s a perfect balance where we are.

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