About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Canning Therapy

                                                                                                  I go over the edge about this time every year, out of control and consumed with a burning desire to save and savor all the glory of summer.  I admitted to a friend I had "wasted" a perfectly beautiful Saturday canning quarts of Marinara Sauce, and Gumbo, she said "you must be bored." No, actually, I was in heaven toiling away over the water bath and waiting for the sealed jars to pop.  Maybe I need a straight jacket or a good therapist.  I can just imagine a dialogue like this:

Doctor: "So what initiates these frantic episodes and how long do they last?"

Me: "I don't know, I guess it happens every August when all the beautiful fruits and vegetables are  abundant.  I see a vegetable stand and am just drawn to it like a moth to flame, and then I just buy too much and I have to do something with all that stuff.  I keep cooking until everything is preserved or consumed."

Doctor: "Can you describe your last attack?"

Me:  "Yes, I woke up with a compulsion to drive 20 miles to buy tomatoes at the State Farmer's Market. There where so many other fun things I should have been doing, like cleaning out my closets, paying bills or giving the dogs a bath. Then I got lost and almost ran out of gas, but I had to find the place.  My heart started to pound when I saw those tomatoes and shelled peas. I bought 25 pounds of tomatoes and 10 pounds of peas.  On the way home I started to sweat, I was so eager to start making Marinara sauce for canning and freeze shelled peas."

Doctor:  "So what justifies this bazaar behavior in your mind?"

Me:  "Winter, when there are only tasteless hydroponic tomatoes and no zipper peas.  I feel sort of insecure without them for 9 to 10 months.  I get withdrawal by February.  I freeze or can enough in August so I can pull some out any time.  I just gotta have fresh fruits and vegetables."

Doctor:  "Why don't you just buy what's in the stores or eat out like everybody else?"

Me: "Ah, well that's why I'm here, I don't know why I can't be like everyone else and just buy carry out or order pizza.  I tell you, I need help Doc, please.  Nobody, believes me when I tell them it's worth the effort.  They think I've turned into Martha Stewart!"

Doctor:  "I want you to try this therapeutic method until our next session.  Tomorrow morning, drive to Starbucks and waste 10 to 15 minutes standing in line and pay $5 for a Grande Moccachino Latte.  The next day, eat lunch at a Subway  and order a meatball sandwich.  The day after, order pizza delivered to your home for dinner.  Then start combining one or more of these meals each day.  If you start to slide, remind yourself, processed food is abundant too and that you'll have more time to play video games and text if you stay out of the kitchen."

Me: "Sure, Doc.  I'll try, I know I'm missing out on a lot of two for one and super sizing and my friends are worried the lack of preservatives in my diet will affect my health someday.

How much do I own you today?"

Doctor:  "I'll take a quart of that Marinara Sauce and a bag of Lady Peas in lieu of cash.  Next time, could you bring some Gumbo."

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