Don’t Be Selfish: Preserve Something Now for Your Winter Self

published Aug 30, 2016
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

It’s kind of unfair, how over-the-top the summer bounty is in August and how utterly bleak things can get in January. Yes, you can purchase tomatoes and raspberries in winter, but we all know nobody’s being fooled by those silly styrofoam props that look like the real deal but neither smell nor taste like anything. And don’t get me started on the texture.

So how do we stretch the abundant sunshine of August to the darkest corners of January? The answer is simple: We can it up!

There are lots of reasons to can and preserve your own food and lots of reasons not to: Canning is hot and messy and, in some cases, it doesn’t even save money. But we do it anyway, whether to get a handle on an overflowing garden, or to make something unusual or hard to get in the grocery store, or simply because we enjoy it.

We no longer live in a world where canning and preserving are necessary for survival, and yet we continue to do it because it’s kind of a wonderful thing, to capture the warmth and sunshine of August and seal it up in a jar. Come winter, when the world has gone gray and dreary and you reach up and pull down a jar from the pantry shelf, that sunshine will still be there and it will be a bit of a miracle and I guarantee you will regret not one minute of the time you spent putting it there.

A Few Ways Anyone Can Preserve

Here are a few classic ways to preserve the best of summer, from tomatoes and dill pickles to jam and simple frozen fruit.

Preserve by Freezing

Preserve Tomatoes

Preserve by Pickling

Preserve by Making Jam

Canning Tips & Hints

What are you preserving this summer? Tell us!

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)