Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saving Summer in a Jar

I grew up with a mom who canned every summer. I remember hot kitchens, and rows of gleaming glass jars, and mounds of ripe fruit. I remember how pretty the rows of jars looked after they were filled, and how much we enjoyed  having our canned fruit in the winter.

For all my fond memories though, it never occurred to me to take up canning myself until the year I cleaned apartments in Seattle when I was in my early 20's. At one place, the former occupant had left behind a black enamelware canner and dozens of jars. With excitement I took everything home, proceeded to buy a canning guide  and other essential equipment, and proudly became a home canner.

Years later, I am as hooked as I was back then, and I’m proud to say that Amy is as hooked as well.   Yes, it is a lot of work, and each year we experience momentary panic as we stare at heaping full boxes of pears, or bulging bags of peaches and think "What have we gotten ourselves into?" But soon Amy and I are  up to our elbows in peelings and jars and hot water, and we are hitting our stride

At the end of each summer I still love looking at the rows of colorful fruit filled jars-and I have to whisper "Thanks Mom." You didn't know it at the time, but you taught me well.


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  1. Canning is so much work - but yes, you reap the rewards come winter!

    Your cherries look just beautiful!

    I just finished my yellow squash pickles. They take 4 days to set up in the fridge - should be interesting to try them :-)

  2. I like that title ~ Summer In A Jar. It evokes so many pretty images. Wouldn't we all like to capture some essence of summer in a jar to open up mid-January, and live a summer day then!

  3. Thanks Lisa! I want to know how the squash pickles turn out-we have squash in our garden too:)

    Joanne-When Amy and I do the canning, it's always hard to picture that when we get to eat our fruit it will be cold. It is good to relive summer then!

  4. I REALLY want to learn how to do this. And I want to pickle too.

  5. It's really pretty easy Tina. And it's so much cheaper and better than store canned fruit:) I think you would really enjoy the whole process, too!

  6. Oh I love this post so much. I love that Amy is just as into it! A few weeks ago I made Shaune stop at the side of the road because I saw a huge black pot. It was on the curb but in perfect - I mean perfect condition. It was a canning pot. Shaune is thrilled to have it and is planning on starting some canning projects.

  7. A great find Kim! Shaune will really get into canning, I predict. It is so rewarding!! I'm thrilled that Amy likes doing it too:)