Why Take the Time to Can or Pickle Fresh Foods?
Canning isn't done the way your grandmother did it anymore, unless you choose to do it to that way. However, canning has again become a popular food storage technique, and there are a number of good reasons why. People often talk about their grandmother's cooking as it rests in their mind like a holy relic. This is because your grandmother's methods of doing things involved being much closer to the food than today's modern generation of eaters tend to be.
My grandmother was an excellent cook, and her pie is something that I've never had the equal of. But she made the most awful pickles you ever had in your life. Funky tasting and soggy, those things were horrible. Her sister, on the other hand, made the best bread-and-butter pickles you ever put in your mouth. And, some other family members made a mean dill.
Here's the thing, what happens when you take those pickles and make, say, potato salad, macaroni salad, or pimento cheese with them? You will never, ever get the same taste as your great-aunt's potato salad because the only way to get pickle flavor like that is to make them yourself. This was my discovery this month, and I'll give you the sordid details on how to take this journey yourself, should you so choose.
And why would you choose to do all this work for a plate of food? Because, cooking, eating seasonal and local, and paying attention to what you are eating are core to the lifestyle changes that lead to healthier habits. Cooking is important to everyone, but it gives people with diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, and other health problems ultimate control over what they are eating, and help them to make it not just palatable, but wonderfully tasty. Plus, if you're trying to replicate your grandmother's favorite dish, you have the home-spun fresh ingredients that she had to work with. That's why.
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