As I gaze at these photos, there’s just something satisfying that stirs my soul down deep: the down home goodness of stocking ones pantry with provisions that feeds a family, nourishing them physically and emotionally.

There’s a sense of preparedness from diligence, and thankfulness for the bounty that has been provided, knowing that hard work will now supply loved ones with the fruit of our labor, literally.

Home economics. Kitchen in housekeeping flat, New York,” circa 1910.

For hundreds of years, the art of canning was a kitchen skill modeled from early on. It was a way of life because a bountiful pantry meant survival, and a matter of necessity, not just an optional task.


Circa 1918. “National War Garden Commission. Vigo County Canning Clubs.”

Over the last few weeks, I have realized just how lazy I am. Truly. The modern conveniences that I have access to make my Ten Minute Dinners philosophy a reality in which I am so grateful, but the one kitchen skill that I really want to master this summer can not be accomplished in ten minute.

I want to learn to can, and not just the simple freezer canning that I typically do. I want to learn the old fashion, stick the cans in the hot water/pressure cooker kind of canning. I want to line my pantry with gifts from my garden and supply my family with options all year long.

I have the cans and the lids and the cookbooks, and was prepared to be a self learner and teach myself until I opened up a jar that a friend gave me as a gift. It sat on my shelf for a year before I opened it, but that’s the beauty of canning, it should still be perfectly fine, but it wasn’t. It had mold on the rim, and I thought to myself, that would be me if I attempted it on my own.

I don’t want to spend a good portion of my summer mastering a skill to only have it be a waste of time, so I am on a hunt to be a student of this. Since I live in the country, and in the south, canning is still a way of life for many of these truly Southern gals, so I just have to ask. (And buy a pressure cooker.) (And gather a few of my friends to do it with me because it’s always more fun with the girlfriends.)

I will definitely let you know my progress.

So fill in your blank.

Is there something that you have wanted to learn, but just never got around to?  I’ve been wanting to learn to can for years and years, but just never took an action step to actually accomplish it. Now I am.

Won’t you join me? I’d love to hear a skill you’ve always wanted to learn.

I want to learn to …………..

tasty tuesday What to Feed a House Full of Middle Schoolers?