My name is Carolyn and I am the face behind the Canning Closet, and there really is a canning closet in my house. I am a scientist by day and a hard-core foodie all the time. I love figuring out how to preserve food, usually by canning. There’s always the freezer and the dehydrator, too! I also try to grow as much produce as I can and enjoy the challenge of growing and preparing new (to me) produce. The only formal “foodie training” I’ve had is my continuing education through the local extension service and by good ol’ trial-and-error. I have been canning for 2 years and am proud as punch to admit I have earned 23 ribbons for my 25 entries in the local county fair in 2012.
I live in the beautiful Willamette Valley in western Oregon with my husband, our tuxedo cat, Spike, and a black and tan dachshund, Karl. Karl is my kitchen companion and self-appointed floor cleaner. He is also excellent help in the garden and keeps the birds and squirrels from the backyard. He has developed quite the appetite for fresh veggies and routinely picks his own peas, beans, and cherry tomatoes when they’re in season. He is quite good at it, too, and never (well, almost never) damages the plant—just picks his fill and moves on.
Although I try to not let it become all-encompassing, an important part of my life is the fact that my kidneys don’t work. I have been on dialysis since March 5, 2010. I have been on the transplant list since June 15 of that same year and am marking time until my number is up, one way or the other. Kidney failure does affect my relationship with food, but I try not to let it dictate my life.
My purpose with this blog is first and foremost to have a regular outlet in my life to share my passion and enthusiasm for gardening and home food preservation. I want to hear the stories of other like-minded individuals and connect with a broader community outside my own. I want to educate and encourage interest in water-bath and pressure canning and what people can bake and cook with home canned goods. I also want to promote the Oregon State University Extension Service in Lane County and encourage foodies to become involved in their local extension offices as they are an often-overlooked, but invaluable, resource to foodies of all skill and experience levels. I hope my posts inspire people to try home preservation for themselves and at the very least entertain folks with the successes and failures in my own garden and kitchen. Enjoy!