We are right in the thick of canning season chez Dear. As you may know if you've been reading for a while, over the past year, I've tried to put more thought into what our family eats, pay attention to where it comes from, and figure out what our relationship to food actually is. Eating local, enjoying the best of what's produced in our own backyards (literally or figuratively) is something I feel very strongly about. So in the spirit of "getting it while the getting is good", come August, I spend most of my weekends trying to freeze, can or otherwise process some of the local goodness that is in such abundant supply this time of year.
The "Eat Local" movement is by no means new, and most people in my area either do a bit of canning themselves or know someone who does. Even so, every so often, when the "what did you do this weekend?" topic comes up and I proudly answer that I processed 50 pounds of tomatoes and canned 12 quarts of dill pickles, I'll get a pause, a smirk and a "Oh, well, I certainly don't have time to do anything like that" remark.
And tonight I asked myself: how many times have knitters heard that kind of comment, right on the heels of a "My grandmother used to knit" remark, from Muggles? How many times has someone looked at what we're doing and passed a tiny wee perhaps-not-meant-to-be-condescending-even-though-it-kind-of-is judgment on how we spend our time?
Hey, this just in - everything we do takes time. Every time we choose to do one thing, that's time we're not spending doing any of a million other things. That's just the way it is.
Is canning (or knitting) time consuming? Absolutely. Are you allowed to feel like knitting or canning aren't your cup of tea and you'd prefer to spend your time doing something else? You're darn tootin'. But where I get off is when that assessment is followed by a judgment on the value of how I choose to spend my time. When it translates into "I wouldn't do what you're doing, because I have far more important things to do".
Yes, it takes time. But I know that for every hour on my feet, every neck spasm, and every dramatic complaint from the kids about how "it stinks in here!!!", there will be excitement and authoritative pronouncements that Mum's sauce is the Best Sauce Ever this Winter. And - to me - that makes the hours I spend canning well spent indeed.
Next time I get that kind of remark, I think I'm going to take a feather from my dear Grandma's cap and tell whomever that they can put a lid on it. I've got more important things to do.
Happy Knitting, Everyone!