Saturday, March 3, 2012

Childhood, Preserved

When I was pregnant with Riker, I found myself thinking about how my mom raised us when we were growing up. I have so many good childhood memories of my mom in the garden and the kitchen, and I wanted our children to have those same experiences. I wanted them to know the taste of freshly picked tomatoes from the garden; I wanted them to know the smell of bread dough rising on the counter and the excitement of seeing homemade fettucini coming out of the pasta mill for dinner; I wanted them to find satisfaction in living a (mostly) healthy lifestyle, and know how to choose foods that, for the most part, were made without the use of pesticides, hormones, artificial ingredients and harmful chemicals; I wanted them to love the outdoors and care for the environment.

Most of these things were already a part of my and Matt's lives, but one piece of my childhood that hadn't yet carried over into my adult life was canning food. Last summer, after watching too many of our garden tomatoes and zucchinis wither and die because we couldn't eat them or give them away fast enough, I finally rolled up my sleeves and started a new hobby.

Some people called this nesting; I called it getting back to my roots. I think canning is so nostalgic, and it's neat to spend a day preserving food in a way that people have done for hundreds of years.

Today I'm spending a rainy Saturday in the kitchen doing something that reminds me of my childhood by making a big batch of orange marmalade. When we were in Ireland a few years ago, we noticed that many of the traditional marmalades were laced with whiskey, so I'm attempting to recreate that flavor today. A perfect little breakfast condiment just in time for St. Patty's Day, no?

What kinds of things do you do that remind you of your childhood?

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