I love to cook, and have ever since I was a kid. There is something about the tangible nature of food and the in-the-moment focus and attention that cooking requires that I have always found extremely grounding. I also knew, beginning in my late teens, that I cared deeply about the cultural aspects of food and eating, though I struggled for many years to pin this feeling down and put a name to it. I first started vegetable gardening and preserving my own food in the late 1990s. This was a revelation—cooking was already big for me, but growing from seed, digging in the dirt, and then putting up what I’d grown for the winter? This took the tangible connection to food to a whole new level, and I was hooked. My interest in food culture prompted me to begin a Masters degree in Gastronomy at Boston University in 2001. I found it so gratifying to have an opportunity to explore more deeply food history and culture, anthropological aspects of food and eating, and traditional foodways. I finally graduated in 2006, shortly after the birth of my first son. With this life change, I found my attention—perhaps not surprisingly—focusing more heavily once again on the immediate, hands-on aspects of food, cooking, and eating.
Over the past several years, my husband Ben and I have expanded our vegetable gardens, I’ve been making increasingly more food from scratch, and I’ve been doing a lot of food preservation (and learning more about it, including Master Food Preserver training through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension)–all of which brings me to this blog. As you probably guessed, CanningCraft is about canning, but it’s about more than just that. In this space I write about many different ways to preserve food, from-scratch cooking, baking, and foodcrafting, growing your own food and eating locally, as well as food culture and traditional foodways. I also include plenty of recipes, tips, and techniques. I share the day-to-day happenings in our kitchen and garden, and our food-related projects, and with our two young boys (ages 4 and 6) working along side me, our kitchen is usually a loud, happily chaotic mess. Through sharing our journey, my goal is to inspire people to do more canning, preserving, foodcrafting, and home cooking, and to bring the traditional arts of the kitchen back into our homes and everyday lives. I hope that you enjoy reading, and invite you to participate in the conversation. So join me in the kitchen….and welcome!