We've been putting up pickles around our house this week. Earlier in the week I found large cucumbers for 50 cents apiece and decided to make some dill spears, using just left over jars and (knowing they would be eaten within the week) didn't bother canning them properly. Tonight, though, Pete and I went and bought a dozen canning jars and made some bread & butter pickles, 5 pints of them! I can't wait to try them, but want to give them a couple of days to cure.
Canning was something my mom did, farm-raised girl that she was. Of course, during the 70's it became fashionable to make your own wine, cheese, etc., but mom did things like canning and making bread because it was her background. I remember fondly the times I spent in the kitchen with her, helping to can pickles, catsup (which was really chili sauce, but she called it 'catsup'), and jelly. Tonight, all the watching I did many years ago came in handy, as we were able to successfully make our own pickles and can them properly.
My paternal grandmother canned also, using the fruit that my grandfather raised. I remember some delicious blackberry jam!
I think the world is losing something with all the pre-made food. The feeling of satisfaction you get from canning your own foods is disappearing from civilization. And the amount of money you save by buying fruits and vegetables in season and "putting them up" for later is a big help if you're on a budget.