When I was little, I remember baking in the sun while crawling down rows of vegetables and weeding for hours. I remember dipping recently butchered chickens in boiling water so I could pluck their feathers. I remember standing over bubbling pressure cookers making sure the temperature gage stayed just right. I remember thinking what a lot of wasted time.
Those were hot and miserable days. I couldn't wait to grab my pole and a can of worms and go fishing in the pond or at Flat Creek. I just didn't get why my Mom thought it important to put up food for the winter. I mean, it was easier to just go to the store and buy it. We canned everything; from watermelon rinds to turkey neck soup. At the end of the growing season, our basement was nothing but shelves of packed jars.
I now know the answer. There is nothing more rewarding that opening up a jar rather than a can. There is nothing more rewarding than tasting freshness instead of tin. There is nothing more rewarding than a job well done. There is nothing more rewarding than a family working together. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing you can do it! And this one touches home, for it takes me back as a child; there is nothing more rewarding than knowing through the long winter months, you are not going to go hungry. Mom has just secured your life. Food is in abundance.