This week I canned five jars of tomatoes and two of tomato juice. This is something I’ve done most of my life.
Simultaneously, I have been re-editing my children’s novel about life on a dairy farm during World War II. In it the protagonist realizes that summer is all about preparing for winter. The farmer puts hay in the barn to feed his animals. The farmer’s wife cans strawberries, makes jam, and gathers vegetables from the garden to can and store in the cellar. The ten-year-old girls are called to help inside and outside.
I’ve realized that while I can go to the grocery any day and buy tomatoes, fresh berries, and vegetables of all kinds—fresh, frozen, or canned—there is a part of me that finds comfort in having a supply of my own prepared food in my cupboards.
When I want to prepare a recipe, I may not have the exact ingredients but I always seem to have substitutes for whatever is called for. There is something about being prepared for whatever may arise that was built into my psychic that drives me.