Friday, June 3, 2011

Canning Memories

I love canning and preserving.  That love came from my Grandma.  Each time I was at her house breakfast included toast with her homemade blackberry jelly.  It was so pretty sparkling it its little jar.  Such a deep purple, my mouth is watering as I write this.  There is nothing like her blackberry jelly.  Mine does not compare.  She also canned peaches and pears and applesauce.  Her applesauce was so good I used to love to spread it on toast.  I learned that delicious idea from my Grandpa.

As I grew up my Grandma let me help.  She would take me out to pick berries when I would spend a month with her in the summer.  We would crush and strain and measure and boil.  Out would come these little jars of goodness.  This is where I learned to love the little pinging sound that jars make when they are sealing.  That love doesn't come from the thought of the food inside them (well part of it does) but it comes from my memories of doing something in the kitchen with my Grandma.

When I grew up I spent less and less time there in the summer.  I was a uhh shall we say difficult teenager?  I could learn to do it all myself, don't ya know?  No more canning days with Grandma but when I did see her she would load my arms up with jars before I left.

As an adult when I became pregnant with our first child I went down and spent a week with her.  Her canned peaches were the most amazing thing my pregnant self had ever tasted and she sent me home with an entire box.  I swear that entire pregnancy I ate canned peaches.  When they were gone I wanted to drive the 8 hour drive to her house just to get more but that is a long way to go for peaches when you are 8 months pregnant.  The bed rest didn't help either, I doubt my doctor would have okayed that trip.  But peaches!!!!

As I got older so did my Grandma.  Sadly in the last few years her canning days ended.  She has slowly passed a lot of her jars onto me.  Now its my turn to repay her with jars of purple jellies and golden applesauce.  I love bringing her what I have recently canned and love it when she says I will return the jars.  Only a canner understands that.  When I can with my kids now I wonder if they will have the same feelings I do about canning.  Will the sound of pinging lids bring back happy memories?  I sure hope so.  I hope that one day my children will be canning and passing on their goodies to me when I am too old to can fresh summer berries, pears picked that day, and apples so fresh that they are still warm from the sun.

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