One of the quintessential homemaker ideals that stretches across doily covered borders to encompass a myriad of topics like budgeting, shopping, gardening, nutrition, and apocolyptic meltdowns is canning. Taking food (preferably homegrown, organic and the like) and recreating it so that it lasts without the modern conveniences of space-aged vaccuum sealing and electrically cold storage devices.
I can't tell you how in love I am with those little embossed jelly jars. I look at them with stars in my eyes as I imagine myself in a sparkling white apron and June Cleaver skirt humming a tune whilst filling them with fabulous concoctions as I flitter around my checker board floored kitchen -which is also sparkling clean. And no, there is no word to describe my imaginative super self other than flitter.
I do not flitter. At all.
The dream dissolves like sugar in boiling water as I carry the cases of jars into the house. My heart sinks, literally. I know its true because I can feel it rest on my stomach -which at this point is churning madly threating to topple over in a very un-June way- as I put them away, wiping the dust off the top of the canning pot and push my love of a stacked pantry overflowing of gorgeous little jars in between my gut and heart so I don't throw up.
The fact is, I'm terrified of canning. Those pretty rainbow filled jars scare the crap out of me.
Yuck it up, laugh all you want, I can't hear you and I'm grateful for that. It is a completely irrational fear. Rationally, I realize that but it doesn't really change it. Why, you ask am I scared beyond reason of canning? Two words.
I also realize that if you follow proper canning instructions, work in a clean environment with sanitized equiptment and check freshness seals before ingesting that the percentage of actually obtaining a food-borne illness is relatively slim to none. Dying from it, again high on my list of irrational canning failures is even less emminent. But it still freaks me out.
Which is why I have a cabinet filled with what was supposed to be strawberry jam but is now renamed "Strawberry Cheesecake Topping" (remember to follow fruit to sugar ratios and pectin is your friend). The pretty little brass ringed jars have been shoved to the top most cabinet above the stove out of sight and mind, the contents of which will probably never see the light of day again until we move and I empty the vials of death and diarreah down the drain.
Ridiculous, I know.
But if I can ever redeem myself of this absurd fear I have to contiuously try my hand at canning. I want to master my fear and my incompetence in this vital homesteading area.
Today, I made cranberry relish. And I canned it.
Now pray no one gets sick, it would be the end of my canning career.