The tomatoes are beginning to ripen in the garden, which means I am starting to ever-so-slowly can up this year’s batch of pizza sauce for use later in the winter. I’m using the recipe from Preserving by the Pint, which has been a fabulous book these last few years as I scale back on, well, pretty much everything.
Pre-kid, you’d find me with pounds and POUNDS of garden produce that I’d be canning up for use later in the season. But these days… not so much. It’s a combination of reasons, really – not putting out as big of a garden anymore, having a kid sucks up a lot more time I’d otherwise spend in the kitchen, and just overall trying to live a little more minimally to help combat the anxiety and everyday stress that I deal with by only making things I absolutely know we’ll eat and use up (rather than because all those jams and jellies sounded fun and then just sit there because I’m the only one who eats them in the house).
The minimal aspect is really something on my brain a lot more lately, especially as we are getting so close to school starting back up and schedules getting even crazier in our lives. The amount of stuff we have has begun to weigh on me and drive me crazy, and I’m about to just go around the house with a bunch of trash bags and toss it all. Just my kitchen cabinets, alone – stuffed with more food than I know what to do with because we buy for recipes and then life happens and we get too busy and never make them – makes me feel anxious every time I open the cabinet or try to come up with a grocery list that will only add to the mess.
I’ve gone on these minimalist-ish binges before. I’ll purge a bunch of things, feel happier, and then move on and fall back to my old ways. But the older I get, the more important it feels to stick with it, both because things are just things and experiences are what Declan appreciates more, and because I really just do not want to spend the majority of my life cleaning up after everyone and stressing about how messy the house is when all of that could be eliminated if I just got rid of a bunch of stuff.
So that’s my mission for the first part of August before life gets hectic again: decrapify the house. Our trash guys will probably hate me over the next few weeks 😀