I Can What I Can’t 

There’s an old saying my grandmother had on the wall of her kitchen when I was a kid that said “I eat what I can and I can what I can’t.” I love that. 

“The jars look so pretty sitting on the shelf…” From my grandmother’s journal, Mar 6th 2008

I grew up around canning and food storage in general. It’s part of being LDS – we plan for the future, for times when we aren’t able to provide for ourselves. It’s something I still do. I have rice in bulk, and flour and sugar and salt and Mac and Cheese and all kinds of things that I can eat when I have no money or if we get snowed in or if the world comes to an end. I also have happy little jars of apple butter made from the apples that we would have thrown away when I worked at the hotel. 

The first time I canned anything was March of 2008. My gran canned a bunch of stuff, including chili sauce which is a weird tomato relish that she pronounced ‘chilla sauce,’ and recruited me to help. Canning is tedious but pretty rewarding. The key is to have at least one other tab open, otherwise it’s hella dull. 

When you can jams or butters or relishes, you don’t need a pressurised canner, you just need a hot water bath and some time. When they’re done and cooled, their kids pop audibly. That’s how you know they’re sealed. I remember her telling me one time how that popping noise made her happier than almost anything else. Every time my canned goods pop, I think of her. She was a really cool person.

I’m going to bed now. I spent 12 hours in my kitchen cooking and cleaning today. It kinda sucked but i can officially say the kitchen is done now. So I guess it’s kinda awesome too. Room by room. I’m going to beat this place into a home I can be proud of. 


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