two days ago, a bunch of friends and i got together to cook, pickle and preserve some goods for a new event i would like to call, effing canning! what we did was nothing new. people coming together through food, is an activity that does not happen enough. i must say, out of the 9 people that participated, only 1 person had canned before. this was a new experience for the lot of us. really, the point of this was to make a bunch of cans, so that people would be able to eat em and gift em for the holidays instead of having to rely on buying some unloved material shit.
so what did we do?
we got a bunch of recipes and calculated a shopping list for the items we needed. then, people would pick an item or a bunch of items and contribute $10-20 worth of raw goods. we got together at harvest noon cafe, after their lunch service hours and started our prep work. pounds of garlic and shallots had to be peeled. strawberries had to be mashed. luckily my partner, geo had boiled and skinned the beets the previous evening. xander, one of harvest noon’s kitchen staff & the only person who knew how to can, gave us a demonstration for preserving canned jars using the boiling water method.
time was tight. we were only able to reserve the space for 4 hours and we had to prepare, cook and can 4 items. we were fortunate enough to find out that there was a CUPE union celebration party happening after us and they let us continue to use the space until we finished.
so what did we make?
with that picture at the top there…starting from the left in the mini jars is cranberry sauce, then pickled garlic & shallots, following pickled beets and lastly mashed strawberry jam.
so what magically happened?
a bunch of friends that knew each other, and a bunch of people that had yet to meet each other, got together, made some food and preserved them in jars. we hung out. we came together when we had to work against the clock. we learned how to can and preserve. we talked politics. we shared ideas. we shared food and tea. we shared contributions and work. we shared ideas. we shared friendship, patience and love. all of this was magical, and it does not happen enough!
over the holidays, i encourage you, to come together with your family and friends and MAKE SHIT. don’t buy STUFF, make some goods with community and love. i will leave you with a photo from effing canning! with clementine morrigan and i. &&& then a photo of me wearing a crown that my partner geo made for me. much love <3