I've always been pretty good, considering my demographic, about feeding my family whole, fresh foods, although I was terrible about the junk food when the kids were growing up. Ten hour day and 90 minute commute? McDonald's sounded pretty good to me.
But my kids will confirm that I Cooked Dinner. And once I got the garden in, when they were in grade school, I started, as many gardeners do, to have more than we could consume, especially tomatoes. So I learned how to make tomato paste.
At first I would just stick it in the freezer--no need for heat canning, or worrying about pH levels, but lately the freezer isn't big enough. Twenty-five tomato plants yields a lot of paste.
I also had a duh moment about jam. I never made it, because I didn't grow the ingredients. It literally never occurred to me to buy the fruit when it was in season, and make jam out of someone else's bounty. I really only ever thought about preserving what I grew myself, like there was some sort of law against preserving bought bounty.
Undoubtedly a consequence of my misspent youth.
Here are some of the jams I've made since I figured it out.
15 hours ago