I love food. I will be the first person to admit that fact. I love cooking it, preserving it, and of course, eating it. My favorite foods are the delicious, juicy, unquestioningly flavorful fresh fruits and vegetables that come from my garden. When I’m not turning grass into delicious beef, I can often be found laboring over a huge cauldron of boiling water, slowly lowering jars of food into the hot water bath. I “can” like it is a sport. Tomato soup, tomato sauce, pickles, cherries, peaches and more move from garden or orchard (not my own) to kitchen to shelf in nice rows of mason jars. I love the repetition and the product of the process as my pantry grows full of foods to store for winter. There really is nothing so filling in the winter as a bowl of tomato soup from tomatoes you grew in your own garden!
Each year it feels like a tribute to my grandmother, Viola, who would can and freeze her garden at this time of year with her two granddaughters underfoot as they washed the fruit or cooled the corn. It is nice to celebrate the old ways and remember that family working and eating together can be the best thing of all.
Here is one of my favorite pickle recipes and it doesn’t even require canning!