Thursday, August 7, 2008

Walking the Line

I'm wondering if I've crossed some sort of line between cooking from scratch and... crazy.
I was standing over my new 18 quart pressure canner, carefully adjusting the heat between 11 and 12 pounds of pressure when my mother in law asked, "Why are you canning your own beans?"

I have to admit I was a little stumped. Of course I was canning my own beans. Why not? These Whole Grain Milling Co. black beans are good and I can now safely precook and preserve them for years at room temperature! Do I need more of a reason than that to spend 5 hours in the steaming hot kitchen on my day off?

Then my partner pointed out that organic beans are cheap and are often on sale for less than the cost of the canning jars, not to mention the cost of the fuel used to cook them.

Darn! If I don't can to save money, then what's my excuse? Because I'm preparing for holing up in my basement for a month and being perfectly well-fed on wholesome locally grown foods during the apocalypse? Because I'm bored? Because I've been reading too much about urban homesteading? Because I'm paranoid about BPA lining aluminum cans?

You know, a few decades ago I wouldn't need an excuse. Everyone would be too busy canning to ask.


jessy said...

aaaaahahaha! it's true that years ago you wouldn't have needed an excuse! dan & i try to stay away from as many canned goods as possible, as the bisphenol-a is a little too scary for us. i really need to look into canning!

Zoey said...

I just found your site today. Canning actually sounds like it could be fun. Can you tell us what is in the jars in the picture? The one on the far right looks especially yummy!

pavotrouge said...

I've been there before, but honestly, I don't care. There are so many more useless things to pass the time than canning :)

Elizabeth said...

My first year of canning, besides jam, my mom kept teasing me that the tomato soup I made (and canned) probably cost me $28.00 a jar! I didn't care, I was so proud of myself. My mom didn't do all that kinda stuff so I had to learn on my own or glean what I could from others.

I say ROCK ON!

Erin said...

I say more power to you!

Liz said...

Yay! I love canning buddies!
Zoey- the jars contain (L to R):
Mexican style black beans, seitan "chicken" soup, and TVP/kidney bean chili. So far they've all rocked my world and I haven't died from botulism!

mnultraguy said...

My sister asks me the same thing we she sees our basement, what are you getting ready for the end of the world?

Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong time, other than my computer fetish :)