Monday, February 21, 2011


I am currently in a period of more than average transition. I just moved from a big house in a small town with roommates to a small apartment building in a small city. I gave up a yard with a big garden and a woodstove in exchange for privacy, an extra bathroom, and not having to share a fridge. And while the benefits of the move keep coming, right now I acutely miss having a microwave, non-stick pans, reliable internet and free laundry.

The move among other things puts me squarely between jobs (between callings?) in an economy that doesn’t give a damn. And while this is terrifying to some degree, it also gives me at least a few weeks to be creative. Thus brews this.

I have become known among my friends as the person to go to with canning questions. While I don’t exactly understand why I am assumed to know more than your average web search, I love sharing my experience about my kitchen hobbies. With that in mind, I hope to fill this amorphous space on the internet with recipes related to my life. Canning is obvious but this household also bakes, brews, cooks, crockpots, dehydrates, ferments, gardens and vinifies. If I knew of a one word verb for “makes cheese” I would stick that in there too.

I know that when done right these things can save money, save the environment, save your local farmer, save in case of disaster, save some time, save you from pesticides or save you from becoming dependent. But it is easy to find yourself doing the opposite or finding that you have to trade one savings for another. While the greater reaching aspects of my hobbies interest me greatly, that is not my primary or even secondary reason for occupying my time in this way. Instead, I do these things because I find them fun and interesting and they allow me to be creative with practical returns.

So what’s with the canary? Canaries were used in coal mines as a safety check. As long as they were singing, everything was fine but when they stopped singing you grabbed your gear and moved to higher ground. Consider me your canary in a cannery. I will fill you in on everything that goes well but if I fail I will let you know how and why. I won’t save you from death so much as wasting time but you get the idea.