Preserving season is underway, for real


I believe I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we had a pretty great-looking cucumber patch started. (Horse manure! Amazing stuff!) Well, I went out to the garden this weekend and lo and behold, there are at least half a dozen big fat cukes waiting to be picked. This makes for a much earlier cucumber season than we had last year.

Gazing at all those lovely fruit, I realized that canning season was staring me in the face. This is the essence of food preservation: No household of two can eat this many cucumbers before they go bad—especially when there are four or five more coming along right behind them. But it would be downright criminal to waste all that food. And so, picklin’ time it is.

I was excited to get started, and more so because I actually kind of remembered how canning works. It’s the first year that I didn’t have to learn it all from scratch, all over again.

Before too long, there were five pints of pickles cooling on the back of the stove.

My policy this year is going to be "can when you feel like it." I’m going to try not to succumb to the mania that overtook me last year. Case in point: There are also tons of wineberries ripening all around our yard right now. (Don’t know what wineberries are? I never did either, until we moved to our current house. They grow wild and they’re rather like raspberries, but seedier.)

Last year, I was out there frantically picking and making jam. This year, I say "meh." I didn’t ask them to grow. And they can’t force me to preserve them. Ha!

Anyone else started their preserving?