It’s kind of like a potluck, but everyone takes all the food home after the party. Last week we put our new kitchen to the test as we learned about preserving food safely and healthfully.

Our participants brought what they could from the garden and laid it all out on the counter. With expert guidance from experienced canners brought in for the night and our reference books, we came up with the recipes and processes that would deliciously preserve our bounty through the year. Then we all got to work chopping and chatting.

It was so fun to be doing together what many of us do at home alone.   And it was so nice to be doing it the new spacious kitchen with all the pots, pans, burners, and implements we could want.  As pieces of peppers and onions flew, we exchanged tips and stories. We admired each others’ produce and marveled at what became of it: salsa, pumpkin puree, frozen whole tomatoes, and apple sauce.

“We could all go into business together doing this,” said one of our participants.  Well, yes, we could indeed!

We all left with an armload of jars, a head-ful of stories and knowledge, and a heart-ful of warmth from time well spent in the kitchen with new and old friends.