I can’t help it. I garden. I can. I freeze. I ferment. I pickle. I dehydrate. I PRESERVE! I do all things food and then I sit and crochet or read or translate ancient Latin texts. It is not easy being me. I need an intervention.
I blame my Mom. I blame my Ma. I blame my Granny. *sigh* It is time I take personal responsibility. I grew up preserving orchards of fruit and gardens of vegetables. Big gardens. I was the kid who stayed at Ma’s side as we canned green beans and jammed and canned and dried and froze more food than the two of us could eat in a year. To take care of this little pickle we found ourselves in Ma opened her cellar to feed the family. The whole family. I could feed the family but the family is a little too scattered to feed.
Let me illustrate the conundrum I find myself in. I cleaned my blueberry bushes of all their little spheres of sweet, blue anti-oxidant packing wonders early this morning. My harvest this year is lackluster at best but I picked and preserved all they offered. I then had to beg the contents of my freezer, maybe plural, to move over and make room for the new stuff. My freezer, maybe plural, is are packed. I could can the pastry filling, but my half pints are filled. I don’t want to buy more jars.
My little pantry is packed. My makeshift root cellar is packed. I wish I had a real root cellar. Oh wait! That would only feed (get the pun!) my habit. I need an intervention.
So here is my proposal to myself. Beginning August 1 I am banned from grocery stores for 3 months. BUT considering it is canning season I must allow myself the freedom to purchase whatever is needed to complete the food project at hand. Let me define that better. I grow my own food. I have a little tiny pie shaped backyard that produces a nice abundance of veggies and blueberries and strawberries and all the herbs needed to create culinary delights. But maybe, after picking the tomatillos I discover I used up the last of my vinegar or I need pectin to jam those foraged blackberries. Those grocery items are fair game. Life happens. Celebrations happen and grandkids need birthday cake and Mom and grown-up kids might need a celebratory bake. I might need to whip up a batch of Fluffernutter. I am not cheating if I bike to the local market to purchase marshmallow fluff. The monthly budget limit is $50.00. Bonus points if I spend nothing. The goal is 3 months no grocery store.
I can do it! Anyone want to join me in this crazy adventure? Maybe I can empty a freezer shelf.