I know…it is a weird topic on a blog about freelancing and gaming. Canning food. What could that have to do with gaming? Well, more than you would think. For me, canning jam, jelly, and pickles lets me enjoy the fruits of my gardening throughout the year. But even more, canning allows me to be generous.

“I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.”
– Maya Angelou

I love to be in the kitchen. I work all day with technology, looking at screens, or assisting others with the use of technology. Thus, many of my hobbies after work involve working with my hands and doing physical things. I have discussed my gardening before, and cooking goes right along with that. Cooking challenges me but also relaxes me. I get to be creative with my hands. My garden provides me things to cook, and my cooking encourages me to try growing new things. As my garden has prospered, I have begun to utilize the fruits and vegetables in more ways. A few years ago I got seriously into canning, starting with dill pickles then moving into various fruit jams and jellies. This year I canned dill pickles, cherry jam, blueberry jam, strawberry jam, and seedless blackberry jelly. A benefit of all this canning is I get to share my garden and my cooking with friends and family. My wife and daughters love fresh jam and jelly on homemade bread. I bring jams to our family trip to lake cottage for us to enjoy at breakfast. I share jams and jellies with my neighbors and guests to our house if they request them. A coworker loves dill pickles and I have now become her supplier of fresh dill pickles. Each Christmas the past few years I have gifted my family with fresh canned goods, and they have come to look forward to those treats each year. Gardening and cooking allow me to express my friendship through sharing.

So how does this relate to gaming other than being another hobby? Well, last year I brought jams to Gen Con to trade with a friend. Yep, not only did I purchase and trade games at Gen Con, I traded jams. I found out a friend from college canned as well, so we met at Gen Con and traded different types of jam we made. This year I am bringing quite a few jars of jam and jelly to Gen Con per request of friends in the game industry who learned about my canning hobby and asked to have some fresh made jams and jellies. My gardening and canning hobby now melds with my gaming hobby and freelance work in ways I never imagined.

What hobbies do you have outside of your day job and/or freelancing? Do you enjoy baking, candy making, canning, cooking, or other activities in the kitchen?? Or perhaps are you a woodworker, painter, kayaker, biker, or what? I would love to hear about your side project hobbies.

Side Project: Canning Jam, Jelly, And Pickles

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