It's interesting to me, in taking this journey towards self-sufficiency, how many aspects of "going green" or being "organic" I learned growing up with my parents. However, at that point, it was just the way we lived because my parents were born to parents who went through the Great Depression.
I was talking to my mom the other day about wanting to learn how to dehydrate food. She said, "We used to do that when you were little. Don't you remember?" I had to admit I didn't, and she reminded me of the apples, peaches and pears that grew in our yard that we picked by the bushel. She reminded me of the screens my brother made that we put out in the yard and dried the fruit the old-fashioned way – with sunlight.
Immediately the memories came flooding back – trying to put the screens up where the dogs wouldn't get them, covering them up so the birds wouldn't get them, carrying them in and out and out and in day after day. I was surprised I didn't remember that, but it did explain a lot as to why dehydrating food was something I really wanted to do – it's in my DNA!
Dried pears. Photo: Fotolia/DLeonis
The same could be said of canning and freezing food. Helping my mom can is something I do remember – I also remember the complaining I did. (Sorry, Mom!) However, once I married a man who loved to garden, and was very good at growing things, I began viewing those long summer days in the kitchen with hot jars and fresh food in a whole new light.
I realized just how much of that knowledge had seeped into my brain as I began to can tomatoes, freeze fresh corn and make various jellies. I can't tell you how many times I called my mom to say, "Even though I griped a kit, thanks for teaching me how to can."
Home-canned goods. Photo: Fotolia/shellystuart
Interestingly, over the years, I have taught quite a few friends how to can as well – people who weren't as blessed as I was to have a mother well versed in the ways of canning and freezing.
Along these same lines, it is very important to me to pass along this knowledge to my children. I want all four – both boys and girls – to have a basic knowledge of canning, dehydrating, freezing and other preservation methods for their future. I have already seen my children can green beans and freeze corn by themselves, start to finish. It was a teary moment – as well as a Kodak one! – while I was on the phone with my mother, sharing the moment that the knowledge she shared with me had been passed to another generation to be preserved through her grandchildren.
This is just one of the many things I want to pass down to another generation. What knowledge do you want to share, or have you passed along, to your children so that it can be preserved for the future generations? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time,