Friday, August 12, 2011

Therapy for Moi :)

Some people clearly must wonder why I love canning so much. It is a lot of hard work, and it requires a lot of preparation and cleanup. What do I love the most? Is it the escape from the outside world? The concentration on a fine art of homemade goods? Is it sharing it with others? Is it blogging about it? Is it the constant name-calling of Susie Homemaker (which I enjoy)? Wellllll....I don't know the answers to those questions but, I have come to realize this....

I love canning because I cannot afford therapy.

This week I have canned another batch of salsa and 2 batches of homemade applesauce. Talk about a HOT MESS in my kitchen. I am convinced that it needs a thorough scrubbing sometime soon!! And when I have my Ipod on....Good Gracious y'all..... Look out! What I know now is that canning does 3 major things for me: memories, stress relief, the joy of sharing.

Provides Memories: When I'm canning I think about so many people along the way. My grandma and grandpa Reams come to mind because she taught me first about canning and grandpa (Go PACK!) taught me about gardening. She was a HECK of a lady that is for sure. There was no getting out of things easy with her, or taking shortcuts. It was the right way or no way at all.   My grandmother was an excellent nurse and a determined homemaker. As a nurse (and grandma) she was very strict, thorough, with not so much nurturing, but an excellent nurse all in all, so I have been told.....I've even heard "the best."  She was an excellent cook and seamstress also. My grandfather was in Agriculture and Forestry just like my Daddy is now.  Check out these pics from his really really really old suitcase with the NCSU stickers... LOVE <3

Isn't this one magical. I love the "old" wolf chillin' against the tree.

Circa 1968....DANG!
Naturally, I would produce a love for growing things and watching things grow (and being a PACk fan)!  I also realize that I am a kinesthetic learner which contributes to the fact that I always need to be doing something. Gardening and canning both provide the opportunity for this which fulfills my need to accomplish and produce things.  

Stress Relief: Because my body is constantly busy doing something, it gives my brain a chance to relax because I am focusing on one exact process rather than 5,000 other things which is so typical for me. If you find me in the kitchen alone, chances are I will not process a word of what you are saying. Nor will I probably care. I am in my own world...canning away. The nostalgia of domestication which I have learned over the years from mama's, grandma's, aunts, and mother-in-laws can be addictive. I feel the same way about sewing that I do about canning.  It's a complete escape from the outside world.    

3. I have canned things I don't even like this year (like sweet pickle) just because I like to share things with others. Typically, I do not like to share food but in this case it is just fine! Now, ask me for some of my Diet Coke or a bite of my sandwich and you gonna be sorry......It's a bad trait but I do give fair warnings :)  This week I made some applesauce for my GA and my sweetest little Landon. During the process I thought of them continuously which always gives me such joy. I love to give things and do things for those I care about (hence 2 of my Love Languages; Acts of Service and Giving Gifts (which I am happy to receive too) :)
    I receive so much from canning that I cannot put into words.  A clear, sane mind for a few hours here and there is very refreshing.  After all, if I could afford therapy, I would need to go year 'round and it would be crazy intense...probably better to just keep some of that buried anyway....So, why put myself thorough that when I can get therapy at home for free in my kitchen?

    Here are some photos from my most recent canning therapy sessions. I have also been dehydrating apples for fried apple pies and for a healthy tasty snack! GA loves them too. 

    apples from Dr. Gault's house! Yummy!

    ready to put in the food mill!
    This is just like the one my grandma had but this one actually came from Sean's grandma, Mrs. Newton

    Sliced apples soaking in lemon juice for dehydrating

    Altogether, lots of work but enjoyable. I'm glad so many people have taught me about canning over the years. Hopefully, it will save us some money on groceries too!

    Lots to do over the weekend! Reunion time! Happy Friday everyone!

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    Thank you for reading and following my blog. I would love to hear what you have to say! Love, Amber