Our daughter has her own memories: the incredible heat it generated, cutting her finger on the apple peeler, and picking and cleaning grapes from our arbor for days on end. I remember (on her behalf, and in pictures) the fun she had with my grandmother snapping beans as well. Since she wasn't born yet, she doesn't remember my first attempt at pressure canning -- on the phone with my grandmother every five minutes, worried I'd blow up the house and the neighbor would find me dead on what was the kitchen floor.
But for the last six years, we haven't been able to do much canning. The last time I remember bringing out the hotplate (because glass-top stoves are useless for constant heat), it was the week before we moved in. We canned apple cider, a staple in winter partying. That was more than two years ago now, and my domestic side is screaming for satisfaction.
This year, though, we joined the gleaning program, knowing full well what we were getting into. Following the proper rhythm, I wasn't expecting anything for the first few months. Suddenly, mid-spring, we get a text: seed carrots, and don't be late! Really? Being a biennial, doesn't that mean that they lose all nutrition in order to produce seeds the second year, and thus are nutritionally useless? I ignored it. Besides, Munchkin had youth group that night.
|far too many carrots|
I arrived on-scene with a handful of other procrastinating gleaners, and proceeded to load up the car. ChevyMama was stranded with broken-down vehicles, so I took seven gunny sacks for her. A young FFA friend of hers was raising a pig on their place, so I grabbed seven moldy ones for him. The Parson and River Song were busy with work and couldn't go gleaning, so I grabbed four for them. And I was going to pick up Munchkin late from youth group at Gypsy's house, so I took a bag for her. When all was said and done, I still had eight bags of my own.
All told, though, it was quite a haul: ten pints gardiniere, thirty pints carrot pickles, fifty pints basic canned carrots, and a gallon bag of dried carrot chips. Considering my cupboards are bare, this Mother Hubbard is thrilled to have a stash of orange goodness, but I think I'll be happy to get past this first year of restocking said cupboards.
That's the stick: full cupboards. And it will soon be leveled again. Maybe asparagus this time?