Halal Consumer - Issue 29 - page 7

responsibility and play a greater role in the food that we eat,
from farm to table. This desire for control and appreciation for
real food has led many to go back to “old-fashioned” skills that
kept our grandparents and great-grandparents nourished. Skills
such as cheese making, bread baking, and canning have become
more popular than ever amongst those who seek to have auton-
omy over what nourishes them.
Ameera Rahim, a wife and homeschooling mother of six in
Lawrenceville, Georgia, feels that she was a part of the Slow Food
Movement for a long time without even realizing it. “We are big on
what we call ‘foundational cooking’,” Rahim, who blogs under the
pseudonym Traditional Muslimah Homemaker (
muslimah.blogspot.com), states. “This is getting back to the foun-
dations of making food for ourselves. This includes avoiding fast
food and making more [food] at home,” she goes on to explain.
Rahim’s philosophy includes gardening, baking bread, and mak-
ing yogurt, in addition to canning, which she has been doing
for a year. She finds having more authority over what foods her
family eats to be extremely rewarding. “That plays a part in it,”
she insists, “having a control over healthy ingredients and sea-
sonal availability. I also love creating a sense of tradition and
teaching the children how to preserve food.”
Rahim also loves the fact that she can share the process and
experience with her loved ones. “It’s an awesome feeling, doing
it as a family — teaching the children how to can food, and pick-
ing out the fruits and vegetables ourselves. The children get to
see the beginning and ending process. There is so much joy in
sitting down as a family and opening a jar of homemade jam to
go with fresh homemade bread.” She describes these times as,
“Literally eating the fruits of our labor.”
Rahim has extended her love of canning outside of her family.
She now sells her homemade strawberry jam and mango mar-
malade to grateful customers. She also recently took part in an
Islamic Food Swap. “
Alhamdulillah
(all praises to God), we held
the Islamic Food Swap to encourage families to make their own
foods, try something different, and come together as a commu-
nity,” Rahim explains. “Families swapped different items such as
canned orange jam, homemade cornbread, and homemade muf-
fins. We even did a drawing for natural and healthy pantry items.”
Similarly, O’Brien also enjoys using canning as a means to
develop relationships and continue customs. “The process of can-
ning is also fun for me,” she states. “I have a great time getting
together for an evening with my girlfriends while we prep fruits
and vegetables and can. It is a ton of work,” O’Brien admits, “but
it also gives me a new appreciation for previous generations and
the labor they endured to store and preserve food.”
Perhaps it is traditional settings such as this that have made
Rahim, O’Brien, and many others fall in love with canning. In a
fast-paced world, taking the time to grow, prepare, and preserve
our own food gives many of us a sense of calm, accomplishment,
and even community, allowing us to share our bounty and bless-
ings with those around us.
Amani Jabbar
is a writer, certified fitness instructor, and 2nd grade
teacher. She holds an MA in English and enjoys coupling her love of writ-
ing with her passion for health and wellness through freelance writing
and blogging.
Interested in taking up
canning for yourself?
Rahim has some advice: “Canning is fun and
easy. It’s enjoyable. No need to over think it. Your
family will benefit from it, alhamdulillah.” O’Brien
says, “I would tell a beginner to partner up with an
experienced canner. I felt much more confident
once I was able to can with someone who had
done it before.”
The choice of recipes is also important. Rahim
suggests perusing the Ball canning website, which
can be found at
O’Brien
also recommends using trusted sources. “It is very
important when canning to find tried recipes that
appropriately balance the acidity in the jars so that
food is safe to eat.”
Happy canning!
Summer 2014
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HALAL CONSUMER
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