August 4, 2006

Today was canning day. We pickled pickles, green beans, garlic and lemons. I also relished zucchini. The cucumbers were perfectly small and green. We hope they will be crispy when they finish curing.

We are amazed how simple it was to can. Into sterilized jars we packed dill, a pepper, garlic, mustard seeds, black peppercorns and pickled. We ladled boiling brine into the jars. Then we wiped the lips and placed the lid that we had boiling in water and carefully twisted the lid onto it. Then we placed the jars upside down for about 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes we flipped the jar and it sealed as it cooled. My relish pinged as we flipped it over. I think it was much hotter than the brine.

Canning makes me contemplate my ancestors as they toiled to preserve summers plenty for winters scarcity. I imagine them in Oregon with the mother natures bounty surrounding them laughing and canning among the female family. It used to be a large family full of fun and booze. My mouth still waters as I remember my grandma's peaches. I could eat the whole jar, which I did because it was my grandma's fondest wish to chunk me up.

I still long for the bustling kitchen with friends and children. It is the same longing that makes me want to be a nomad, to wake up in a group of tents to the muffled voices and laughter of my family waking.

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