Saturday, August 29, 2009

Preserving Party

For those who know me, food preservation is high up on my personal interest list. I love canning. There is something about spending half the day in the kitchen, drinking good coffee, slicing fruit, and chatting about nothing.

Here in the ‘Baijan, food preservation is a way of life. No, it’s the only way of life. Unlike America, Azerbaijanis don’t eat food when they’re not in season. If it ain’t growin, it ain’t bein’ eaten.

For local folks, this isn’t a big problem. Every family has a pantry full of preserved food. Compotes, jams, pickled tomatoes, you name, an Azer-family gots it. Unfortunately, for PCVs, seasonal foods is a big problem. When it’s not summer, most PCVs rely on multivitamins to get their daily dose of nutrients.

Me, of course, had the great idea of throwing a “Preserving Party”. A dozen or so manats later, I am sitting in my ridiculously hot kitchen, waiting for my make-shift hot water canner to get a-boiling. Needless to say, I am excited and scared at the same time. What does botulism feel like?