I’m sure I’m behind the times on how great canning is but I have a new found love for it!! I’ve always loved the thought of my pantry being full of jars of homemade goods right from my own garden but I wasn’t able to have my own garden until just last year. This year I didn’t have a lot of success because I was in Saskatchewan for most of the summer being tended to for my cancer treatment issues. But…when I got home I was so excited to see a bunch of rhubarb had grown!! And I’m so pleased to say that I now have Jars of strawberry rhubarb fruit in my pantry “ready to go”. And that’s actually the point of writing this, is to say how awesome canning is for on the go mamas (or people in general;) Taking a jar of fruit along in the car for hungry kids (or moms) is so much easier than trying to cut up fresh fruit in the am and keep it from getting squished and juices going all of the car on the drive and it’s so much healthier than having packaged food. And, if you happen to leave it in the car overnight, it’s still good the next day! The other great thing is you can just grab your rhubarb and eat it anytime of the year unlike fresh fruit that has to be in season or taking fruit out of the freezer that you have to let thaw to make your smoothie or pie.
Oh canning… such a sense of accomplishment and happiness to see all those jars so neatly lined up and have the taste of summer in the middle of winter.
Our ancestors knew a thing or 2 about food. Even though they did it out of necessity, it is still a great idea for today and very tasty. I like to do it now because it makes me feel like a pioneer woman, and because it tastes good and is portable but also because I love to learn about ways to live in the wilderness just incase I need to!
What I need to learn now is how to distinguish between the good foods to eat and preserve in the forest and the poisonous ones. I can tell blueberries, strawberries, and chokecherries but what about mushrooms, or other berries and leaves that I don’t even know about. Something to study up on…
I don’t know that the Bible has anything to say about pioneer life or living off the land being what a person should do, but I do know that God gives us certain passions and I have a passion for the pioneer life! I love all things old. I love antiques, I love figuring out how to make meals from scratch (soon hopefully over a wood burning stove at our someday trappers cabin) and I love picking the ingredients right out of my backyard. I love horses and wagons, I love country schools and churches, I love dreaming about having an old time farm with chickens, pigs and a couple cows and I especially love being out in the countryside where there are no telephone poles, satellite towers, tv’s, or buildings. There’s just the sound of chirping birds and rustling leaves, the feel of the sun on my face and the wind through my hair (or lack of lately😜), the taste of sweet berries picked right off the bush, the sight of trees swaying and animals scurrying and the smell of the trees and water (that might be my favourite, especially in the wee hours of the morning when the dew is just coming off the grass and the sun is just beginning to peek out)
ahh, there’s just something about nature and living back in the day. When people had time for each other, time to make their kids a play barn, a crib for their doll or a pair of mitts, when people got together for potlucks and barn dances and everyone helped out their neighbours. When Stores were closed on Sunday, and everyone went to church. When everyone was poor so keeping up with the Jones’ wasn’t a big deal, and people made what they had. Entertainment was enjoying time spent with neighbours instead of watching TV, travelling or running to the next activity. I may have an idealistic view of what it was like but I like trying to re-create that kind of lifestyle in our chaotic world today. (Minus the lack of immunizations and education as well as death by accidents because you had to have your children helping you when they were 6 years old or you may not have food to put on your families table!) ahh, yes, the good ol’ days! I’m so grateful to live in the era that I do now where I can have plumbing and electricity if I want to but I can also go out into the great outdoors and enjoy the peaceful quiet life as well. I can chop out ice from the creek and cut up firewood if I want or I can have heated water in an insulated gas warmed house if I feel tired and lazy. We are living in great times and I think we need to remember that when it seems like the world is going downhill so fast. we need to be grateful for what we have and not be so focussed on the evils that are going on around us. Bad things have always been present and even though I have an idealistic view of what it was like in the pioneer days, I know there was evil then as well just like there was in the Bible times and now. Staying focussed on eternity while living out our passions AND while living in this world of darkness is the key to living a good life! As much as I would love to run away and live in the woods just with my family so I could keep us safe and live life the way I want to, that’s not what God has called us as Christians to do. We are to be lights in the world, shining Jesus love to all we encounter. So while I live my life of pioneer passion I will not live a life of seclusion. Pioneer life CAN be done in this world while living for Jesus!