(I’ve been meaning to write for days. Do you ever get in
that groove where you have so many things you want to talk about it you can’t
start? Yeah, that’s where I’ve been.)
So… I don’t know if any of you have noticed… but did you know that gas prices have gotten
really high? No, really! That and groceries. Creep creep creep. To the extent that we, like many families,
are muttering, “Crap, we gotta watch what we’re spending.”
We’re doing the usual… cutting shopping trips and eating
out, avoiding unnecessary driving, etc. BUT me being the child of hippies who both were
into “back to nature” activities (i.e. growing food, raising chickens, preparing
everything from scratch,) and were always
preparing for nuclear annihilation (storing EVERYTHING) my survivalist
tendencies also start kicking in.
Hey! If we’re gonna
save money, I’m gonna save us money! (Maybe that’s a tad wee bit of the type A
thing kicking in, too, I don’t know.)
I find myself going back to the techniques my parents used. I’ve always been a gardener but usually I buy
my few tomato plants every year and then I load up on flowers. (Because flowers are pretty!) This year, especially with having a new
backyard to play with, I’m attempting to put in an edible garden. I’ve been planting a lot more herbs, edible
flowers, and veggies. I’ve been stock
piling seeds (especially cool heirlooms veggies or hard-to-find greens). The non-edible flowers I’ve
put in have been either ones that bring in pollinators or ones like Echinacea and
chamomile that can serve double-duty. (For, you know, if I ever need to process
my own tea. (I never said these
tendencies were rational.)) I’ve been
looking for ways to start composting and putting in water buckets. There’s been a big movement towards
locally-grown food around here and I’m happy to try my hand at it. I’m getting all green up in this joint!
AND for the first time since I was a kid, I made my own jam!
No biggie, right? This
is the kind of thing my parents did all the time. Canned all their veggies, made jam, ground up
wheat for fucking flour, made their own tofutti, and on and on. Lots of people do it (well, maybe not the
tofutti part). But you gotta understand,
I don’t consider myself to be the most domesticated woman around. Because… uh, let’s see… I don’t cook, I have
a cleaning service, I’m crafty but I suck
at sewing, and I have NO family photo albums organized. I don’t even own a cute apron (which even I
am a little appalled at… ‘cause have you seen those ones at Anthropologie?!). I’m pretty sure that means I fail the basic
domestic diva exam.
And the truth is, I don’t really like a lot of traditional domestic
crap. I hate cooking. I don’t want to scrapbook. Cleaning bathrooms suck. Things need to be done so I do them, but that
doesn’t mean I enjoy it. I do like to bake (because eating baked
goods rocks), and I like painting rooms
or digging in the dirt or building stuff. But those bigger, physical activities are a
far cry from, say, getting my jollies off polishing the silver.
Despite all that I am feeling proud about the jam. I made apricot-plum and white nectarine-plum
jam. They taste awesome!! (I’m kind of blown away.) Basically, I spent about $30 in supplies ($20
of that a one time cost for the jars) and I made 18 jars of jam. (Do you know how much it would cost to buy 18
jars of jam at the grocery store?)
I’m already thinking about trying to can some tomatoes if I
get enough. Maybe freeze some bush
This type of domesticity is kind of a (scary) shift for me. But, if prices keep going up, I predict we’re
going to see a lot more people going farm-esque DIY.
All I need now are a couple of chickens. (not)
P.S. It’s salt to my chafing domesticity that G.W. Bush would approve of me taking on a more traditional family role, when it’s his economy that is forcing me to take on a more traditional role. If he had any brains I’d think that was his whole plan from the beginning. “We’ll just devalue the American dollar until all the women stay home in the kitchen like God meant them to.” Bastard.
But I still love my jam.