Homemaking 102: Setting Up For Putting Up

All Done!

The fruits of my labor.

For a little while now I’ve been kicking around the idea of a homemaking 101 series here. More than one woman of my own age or younger has said (enthusiastically, even) she’d love to come across such a thing, however politically and culturally incorrect it is for an American woman to say she has an interest in serious homemaking anymore—and it is incorrect, terribly—so how many would like to know more but are ashamed to speak of it? A sad state of affairs indeed. Homemaking is something I consider important for reasons I’ll discuss in a future, introductory post, but let’s skip ahead a little bit  and talk about canning—it is the season, after all, and that’s what I spent most of my Wednesday doing!

Of course, canning can be done any time of year, no matter where one lives, but autumn seems to be the season people’s minds turn to it. Perhaps this is a throwback to a much earlier age when we had to put up food for the winter lest our family starve, or it’s because many of us recall our mothers or grandmothers steaming up the kitchen while canning seemingly countless jars of tomatoes, applesauce, and sliced pears, but either way, there is plenty of

Putting Up!: Candied Jalapenos

Candied Jalapenos, aka “Cowboy Candy”

produce to choose from in the fall—the last gasp of glory before winter sweeps in. Preserving is one way to enjoy summer year-round—to say nothing of knowing exactly what it is in the food you’re eating and always having gifts on hand to give. The response I get from handing someone a jar of home-canned anything is quite possibly more rewarding than eating whatever it is myself!

Many people seem intimidated by the idea of canning, but it’s very easy to learn, really; most recipes, such as this one (for which I’m hoping I can find a few last local raspberries), give you step-by-step instructions that probably sound simplistic to novices. What seems to unnerve people most is the possibility of Death By Home-Canned Goods, followed by the process itself. Continue reading