It's been a long time since I've done any kind of canning or food preservation. It's been a long time since I've wanted to. Lately though, that niggling sense of something wrong, of something coming, has made me start thinking about stocking up. Sure, I could just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of canned food but doing it myself is much more satisfying and I'll end up with things I can never get in a store. There's also the intense satisfaction and confidence that comes with knowing that you can take care of yourself, and your family, if need be. And, if you grow the food yourself, aside from some sweat equity it's virtually free food. Oh, and you can be sure it's not covered in pesticides or other chemicals. You can't beat that.
One of the fun parts of canning for me is trying new recipes. This year, new recipes (so far) will be sweet pickle relish and Victoria Sauce, which is made from rhubarb, raisins, onion, sugar, vinegar and spices. I imagine it's similar to a chutney and you'd eat it with chicken or pork. I'll be visiting the farmers market again this Saturday (our farmer's market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays and since I work during the week...) for more rhubarb, free-range eggs, free-range hamburger, and anything else that looks good. I'm still trying to find a source of free-range chicken. After finding out how our beef cattle and chickens end their lives, in unimaginably horrible, cruel ways, I can't stand the thought of giving my money and support to that industry. I'm not a vegetarian; I like eating meat. As human animals, our bodies are made for the eating and digesting of meat. While I am not capable of killing my own meat (I have too soft a heart), I can choose to purchase beef, chicken & eggs, and pork from animals who lived out their lives in the open, under the sky, in as happy and healthy a manner as possible. That's why I plan on raising my own chickens when I get my place in the country. We need to take back our food!