I spent this morning catching up on a couple week’s worth of CBC podcasts while furiously canning the produce that’s been threatening to take over my kitchen and freezer. After hearing too many bullshit opinions about quote-unquote boat people, and our quote-unquote nationstate’s quote-unquote right to turn away refugees, it was a joyous surprise to listen to an account of the Small Person Acquisition Project on The Current (which originally aired in June, but was being rebroadcast to fill the late summer schedule).
This story features the adventures of two transmen and their queer babymaking, and thrilled me to the core: Not just because it was well done and heartwarming, but because I’d been following the story back when it was actually happening, through the writings of one of the new parents, J, at his blog visibly transparent (formerly known as “random ramblings”). I first found his blog over a year ago while searching for new additions to Queer Canada Blogs, and it was one of the ones that I came back to time and time again, especially once J wrote that he and his husband were expecting a young human addition to their family.
Frequent readers will know that Oats and I have been taking our own small steps towards having a kid, though at this point they mostly consist of long conversations and the general planning of a social/financial/legal situation that could support this small person. For myself, the baby-craving goes in cycles of intensity that luckily is mostly a continuous dull roar though it kinda makes me loopy every once in a while. One such moment of overwhelming emotion struck me hardcore when J posted on his blog about the birth of his and his husband’s baby back in January. I made Oats look at the photos he’d shared of new little Stanley sleeping, and she was sweetly indulgent, even as she gently questioned to confirm the fact that no, this was not actually someone I knew, but rather someone whose blog I read. Ah, the sense of intimacy brought about by our random internet ramblings!
So, I highly recommend that y’all check that out.
As for the canning, I’m trying not to go overboard this year. Last year was chaos, and left me almost hating canning. After a winter of acumulating free and cheap jars, I’m ready to try again, but in a more limited capacity. I’ve not contacted anybody about doing canning for them, and the only produce I’ve bought was a flat of strawberries (which I didn’t can in time and so lost half of… Fucking hell), 50 lbs of tomatoes, 10 lbs of red peppers, and a case of organic peaches. My goal is to glean everything else, and only make things we’ll eat. Which is to say, no jam! Well, okay, maybe a bit of jam. But mostly we eat chutneys, pickles, sauces, and straight-up canned fruit, so that’s what I’m going to make.
Yesterday at work I had to clear a couple areas of braising greens that’d gotten too weedy and old to harvest, and my boss let me hand-pull the sections of beets. The plants had been planted right next to each other, since the desired crop was the leaves, which meant that few of the roots had gotten very large, but some were bulbous enough to use. After my shift was over, I spent an extra twenty minutes by the compost heap, seperating the beets from the weeds. Today I cooked and peeled them, and am now going to make a brine of some sort for pickling the beets, which is something I’ve never done before. Seems pretty easy though, and it’s definitely a food I’ll devour.
Listening to podcasts while canning is even nicer than listening to them while working in the fields at the farm, which is how I spend my work days. I’m feeling all inspired about radio again, though not necessarily ready to get back into volunteering at the station or taking active part in my old radio show collective. It’s just great, to hear people tell stories in their own words… I keep thinking about this when on-air journalists interview quote-unquote experts about the Tamil refugees from the recently arrived boat, when what I’m wanting to know is what the refugees themselves have to say. Are no reporters allowed to talk with them? I’m full of questions, and it feels good.