put up and put away

It's official!  The canning season in this house has come to an end!  My canning supplies have been crowding our kitchen for the last few weeks in hopes that a batch of apple butter would somehow find its way into my canner and onto my shelves, but this past weekend, I resigned myself to the reality that we're not going to have apple butter this year (nor any jam for that matter...darn strawberries and raspberries!).  And so, with that sigh of resignation, I moved the canner and it's accompanying parts back down to the basement and put them away.  Away until next June when the strawberries return and the gardens begin to once again produce their bounty.  

Along with that sigh of resignation, however, came a sigh of relief.  THE CANNING IS DONE!!!!  Hooray!!!!!  This means that winter is on its way and with it will come a much slower pace--quieter weekends, quieter evenings, and more time to knit, sew, and read.  Yes, a sigh of relief, indeed!  I love August and September and my many hours spent in my kitchen prepping veggies and such in order to preserve them, but after awhile, it gets a bit exhausting to plan my life around ripe tomatoes and the like.  The freedom that follows putting that canner away is quite lovely--not to mention the shelves full of preserved summer goodness!  

This summer, I was able to put up jars of tomatoes, tomato soup, tomato sauce, salsa verde, corn, applesauce, pickled tomatoespickled cucumbers, pickled mixed veggies, and fermented jalapeños, as well as a gallon of frozen blueberries, a gallon or so of frozen green beans, and a few different types of dried herbs.  Running down to the basement to grab some of that home-preserved goodness never gets old!  I find it rewarding each and every time I open a jar, add its contents to a meal, wash it up, and put it back on the shelf for next summer.  It feels so fulfilling, so resourceful, and so very satisfying.  

Yes, putting away the canner for the season is good, but by the time next summer comes around, I'll be very ready to take it back out again and start the process over.