Paging Dr. Phil…

I used to watch “Extreme Couponing” on TV and wonder what these people were doing with their shopping carts overflowing with shampoos and chewing gum. I couldn’t understand the satisfaction they felt with their hoards of free stuff arranged perfectly on shelves in their basements. Who needs 600 bottles of Pert Plus anyway? They always seemed so proud as they showed off their stockpiles of stuff that they got for free using coupons. Their meticulous organization was pretty intriguing to me, but I still didn’t get it… Until I started canning…

I TOTALLY understand now…

Today, I found myself standing in my kitchen with three small bowls filled with different kinds of salsa. I was staging my own test-taste of store brands vs. my own homemade salsa. As I stood there analyzing textures and heat vs. spice, I realized that perhaps I’ve gone just a little too far with the canning. I’ve canned over 2 dozen jars of salsa so far, and I don’t even like salsa all that much.

Somehow in the past month I’ve spent so much time canning tomatoes that I have a room filled with jars of sauces and salsas. I don’t know why really, except that I thought it was a good idea to plant 42 tomato plants in the spring. Things got out of hand, and now I feel like I need someone to intervene. I keep telling myself I’ll stop…that I WON’T can another tomato, but I am weak. It’s the *ping* of a perfect seal…the satisfaction of multiple jars filling shelves… It’s pretty addictive.

Since I left work almost 2 years ago (Has it been that long? I can’t even remember!), I’ve kept myself busy with the kids, the  house that I still argue I need a staff of 3 maids, 2 gardeners and a pool boy to maintain, and other odd projects. I started with renovations. That was fun… and then we spent a damn fortune making a Style @ Home perfect kitchen and master bathroom that was INSTANTLY trashed by the three children. If you think you can have nice stuff with kids…You’re dreaming! So, I moved on from there. I planted a massive garden. I grew all of my plants from seeds in my sunroom. I canned everything. I made bread, I made pasta from scratch. Our meals are usually food that we grow and/or raise here. We have freezers filled with chicken, beef and pork that we’ve raised here on our farm. I’ve spent countless hours figuring out how to grow asparagus, what to do with 400 lbs of zucchini… I’ve pretty much mastered this whole homesteading June Cleaver thing..


…and I’m going to say it right now… I’m DONE!

Aside from convincing Nick to get goats so I can milk them and make my own cheese, I’ve gone as far as I want with this happy homesteader thing. It was fun, but I’m just going to face the truth now… No one gives a shit about how much work I put into dinner as much as I do. No one cares if they get fresh baked baked goods. No one even notices the difference. Furthermore, I’m getting kinda pissed off trying to convince my kids to eat the food I spend hours making for them. Last week I made lasagna completely from scratch. Noodles rolled out. Sauce made from the garden. It was amazing. I put it down in front of my five year old and he screamed like he was being held in a hostage situation. Shrieks of terror as he proclaimed “IS THAT A MUSHROOM???!!! OH GOD NO!!!” That was the moment my give a damn totally busted. It’s game over now. Grilled cheese and canned soup…. Unless they want salsa…I have plenty of that!

Moving on now…


2 thoughts on “Paging Dr. Phil…

  1. I think you’ve got it, Kath. So many feel like this with whatever they create: no one knows the work that goes into it, the emotion, the commitment, time, energy, intentions… You have to create for you. If people appreciate and love it too, it’s a bonus.

    I for one think your ambitiousness is admirable. I would never can anything, ever! And to provide for your family so purely, everything from your farm, is also so great. You’re sparing them all the agony of detoxing and fasting and whatever else a person’s got to do to undo all the processed crap we eat! Little do they know, of course. Try lasagna roll-ups next time; they might think it a bit more fun. Sans mushrooms. 🙂

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