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A few days ago, my grandma told me she had a bunch of rhubarb, already cut, washed, and measured into the appropriate amount. She asked if I wanted it and I said I did because I love rhubarb. Typically, I like a strawberry rhubarb pie, but that wasn’t what my grandma had in mind. She sent along a recipe for a jam and told me I should try it, so I did. I don’t regret it, either, because it was delicious.
I won’t share with you the recipe she gave me because I’m not sure she wanted it to be shared. Instead, I’ll leave the link to Martha Stewart’s recipe here and you can try that one because it’s similar enough that it’s probably almost the same. If you choose to can your jam, I would suggest you water bath for about twenty minutes and leave about a quarter to a half inch of headspace in your jars. You can check the USDA’s website for canning safety if you want, though.
Anyway, canning rhubarb made me realize that summer is over and fall is here.
I’m not late to the party or anything, I realize leaves have been turning for quite a while now and the weather has changed, too, but I really hate when the summer begins to fade away. I don’t mind the cooler weather, but I hate shorter days and I hate that my kids are all going to be in school (or work, in one kid’s case) and I’ll be here on my lonesome. But, isn’t that the way of things for parents sometimes? I suppose I’m not the first to feel this way and maybe my fall/winter seasonal depression is setting in a little bit, but I have come to the conclusion that I may as well embrace my inner prepper and stop trying to fight the inevitable.
I come from a long line of practical, yet headstrong Appalachian women. Canning and preserving is just encoded in my DNA. The USDA changes safety regulations on a yearly basis, but the gist of it all is the same. Grow, harvest, can. And, dry, dehydrate, bury, jar, freeze, too.
My canner is a smart canner that I bought last year. It was ridiculously expensive, but has multiple functions. It’s a slow cooker, steamer, pressure cooker, pressure canner, and water bath canner, all in one. I love the stupid thing because even though it’s tall and barely fits under the cabinet (I have to scoot it out to open the lid lol), it’s handy! I realized yesterday though that if my great grandma or great great grandma had been given the resource of a smart canner, she would probably laugh at me (or scold me, even) for complaining about the work that goes into canning and preserving. Still, I managed six pints of rhubarb jam yesterday in almost no time at all and today I plan on working at some homemade chicken bone broth.
I suppose the reason behind my post is that I have obviously turned into a squirrel and am now putting away all of my acorns for winter because I am frazzled and tired and I just want to make sure it’s done. I don’t know any other way to live and I certainly don’t want to not preserve things and let them go to waste.
And, the entire time I was doing this yesterday, I kept thinking that I should be writing. I should be working on a novel. I should be working on the cookbook I’ve always wanted to write, but never took the time to plan out.
Productivity is a weird concept.
XOXO Kelly Rhiannon