My partner and kids have been away for four weeks. To be entirely honest, normally when they’re away I hit a point where I get despairingly lonely and miss them terribly. This was the longest they’ve been away and, while I certainly did miss them, I was amazingly busy and the time relatively flew by.
Aside from the list of things that my PhD and related projects demanded of me (which is enough to make a grown man cry), one of the things that kept me busy was preserving! This year, along with growing more of our food, I’m determined to preserve more of our food. It’s healthier, it’s better and having a large stack of jars is a beautiful thing.
So here’s what I accomplished:
There’s 4 pints of plum sauce, 10 pints of canned plums, a pint of pickled chard stems, 5 pints of dilly beans, 3 quarts of apple sauce, and in front, dried calendula petals! The thing I’ve enjoyed about preserving, though it can be hard, sweaty work, is the tangible, physical reward that comes with completion – as well as the immediacy of the reward, neither of which my PhD and academic work can really do!
And the best part of all – everything I preserved I picked myself. I picked fruit with Not Far from the Tree and veggies/flowers from my garden. It’s a good feeling. And this is just the beginning of this year’s preserves! The morning before I picked up my family, I went to the garden and picked these – there’s definitely more preserving in my future!