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I'm an organic gardener--to say I'm middle-aged would be a stretch--I've been gardening for 52 years, mostly in the midwest. I still can most everything we eat. As my Dad used to say, "she'll can anything that'll hold still long enough"!! Sure saves time when company--or family--drop in. I've been cooking all that time, too. I come from a large farm family (1 brother, 5 sisters) and have 2 sons and 4 daughters; AND 10 grandchildren. Many of our family's memories involve food. All the important events are celebrated with a special menu; but as these things usually go, it's the disasters that make lasting memories! We'll be laughing at those long after the really impressive soirees have been forgotten. The women of our group have adopted a saying that "we don't name a dish till after it's cooked. Whatever it looks like, that's what it is!" Keeps the mood light, and even the novice cooks are more adventuresome, knowing that we don't take disasters seriously. On the other side of the coin: years ago, I had a tea room/restaurant called The Market Fare, that was written up in the book THE BEST COUNTRY CAFES IN TEXAS, a gastronomique guidebook by Texas Geographic. The women of our family can usually find our way around a kitchen!! For each of my children, as they left home, I created a cookbook of their favorite foods--still in use by them these many years later. In nearly every culture, family and food go hand-in-hand in creating those special memories. Man may be the HEAD of the home, but woman is its HEART!!