Canning preserved by new home economists

An essay in Salon calls the practice of canning "haute," though dismisses it as an inappropriate source of nourishment for people with real day jobs, part of a too-precious do-it-yourself (DIY) craze. The New York Times says we're in the midst of a "canning renaissance" and is more eloquent, loving: "preserving offers primal satisfactions and practical results."

Last week, in The Wall Street Journal, a young reporter signs up for a private canning class with a Slow Food instructor and comes to a wide-eyed combination of the two conclusions: "Although home-canned goods are not exactly a bargain, their taste is dramatically better and, in my view, well worth the labor." Hobby, quasi-political act, the new (more productive!) dinner party, canvolution? How to explain the home-canning craze?