Canning Day


| 8/25/2014 2:39:00 PM


Country at HeartFood excites me as I'm sure it does most of us who live to eat rather than eat to live, and I am so delighted that I had a smart grandma. She had a luscious garden and knew know to preserve her bounty. Since it's summertime, and since canning is done in late summer, I guess it's a good time to write about Grandmother's preserves and all the other good things she packed into those pretty, shiny Mason jars. Now, I've said this before, but it bears repeating. I never helped my grandmother with chores like cooking, gardening and canning, but sometimes I would watch her as she sweated and labored over that hot stove and those pots and pans. However, the most enjoyable part, for me, was hiding out some place and dreaming of a million delicious meals from whatever Grandma was "strumming" up. But then, there were those times when I looked on, because I knew that come wintertime, our table would be "graced" with some of what she had sealed in those clear, monogrammed jars.

Each year, when "canning day" came, my grandmother went to town and bought Mason jars and lids and rubber "rings," if she needed new ones. Actually, I think the lids could be used again, if they hadn’t rusted, but I don't think the rubber rings could be used again.

Now we are back at home and in the kitchen or at the table near the back porch where there is plenty room to work. Before Grandmother got ready to "can," she usually had a towel or cloth on the table where the hot jars would sit. The jars had to be hot, because the food was hot. If you put hot food into cold jars, they could crack. The hot jars also helped the hot food get "set in" during the cooling down process. After she had "boiled" the jars, she took them out and placed them on the table.

I may have taken the hot jars out of the water. If so, that's about all I did. I was prepared to watch but not necessarily to be of much help. "Playing" with food isn't my favorite thing to do, and I must admit that I really didn't do much on those preserving days, I’m just plain lazy when it comes to food work.

I sat in that hot kitchen watching and thinking, "Boy, I can hardly wait until winter gets here." When I saw the peaches and apples, I conjured up thoughts of tons of delicious fried pies. And when I saw the squash, okra, beets and other veggies, I dreamed of dinner and suppertime and how well those veggies would go with hot cornbread and organic, cow buttermilk.



canned goods | iStockphoto.com/Mark Wikkerink 





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