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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Canning: it is a process...

Pear jam infused with vanilla bean

Canning is a process which I have been observing or doing all  my life. It is one I have loved being apart of. There is nothing like looking at all of those lovely glass jars filled with the bounty of the garden, sitting upon my shelves.

It is a process. So that means I am naturally attracted to it. It is what attracted me to printmaking in college along with weaving and sewing and quilting.

Cleaning bathrooms, also a process, but not one I am as fond of.

Blackberry Bourbon Jam,
which is a very good idea.
Anyway, I took canning for granted until around third grade. I had the measles, was stuck home from school while the other kids in my class went to the "Hysterical Society" for a field trip. (Which is what I thought it was and I might be just a little embarrassed to say that I was much, much older before I realized it was the "Historical Society".)

I was lying on the large overstuffed brown sofa in the small den that was off of the kitchen, sort of under the stairs, reading a worn out copy of Little Women.*

In nice neat little jars. Makes my day!
I was very taken with the part where Meg is in her new home with her new husband and she is making jelly. And it is not jelling. Which from my point of view was an amazing thought. I had watched my mother make jelly, many times, it ALWAYS jelled. This shook me to such an extent, I have to say, I did not make jelly in my own home for years and years.

What if it did not jell? Terrifying thought. Odd, but some people are afraid of spiders, and there you have it. We are all afraid of something. We all avoid something. For some people it is jelly. So. For others it is any number of things. What are you going to do? (The correct answer is, of course, overcome them, but still those fears hang around)

All in all. I do can. Many very delicious things. So if Meg spoiled jelly for me, that is okay, I will just make jam, which, by the way,  not that finicky. You should try canning some. Or failing that, come taste mine!

(Now my daughters read this book and truly loved the part where Beth dies. (sorry, if I just spoiled it for you)  There were nights we would go up to kiss everyone good night and our elder daughter would be crying her eyes out. We would ask: "ARE YOU OKAY!!", or at least we did the first few times, then it was more like: "Oh, did Beth die?" Our daughter would nod her head, tearfully, and we would hug her and pat her back and go back downstairs  where we would look at each other and say: "You know, Beth died, again, imagine don't say...")


  1. I can, too. And I can tell you what you do when strawberries don't set; you slap a label on those jars that says 'Strawberry Syrup'. It is great on pancakes :-)

    1. My daughter always says "Think Julia Child, she said never apologize for what you have made" sounds like Strawberry syrup is along the same lines:)

    2. Yikes! Just went back and edited it a bit better.

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  3. My kid's are stuck on peanut butter and homemade/home grown jalapeno jelly!! I really like canning too!!

    1. SO happy to know there are others out there like me! Are your jalapenos green or red?

    2. Laurie,
      So sorry! I just went back and edited the post a bit better! Thank you for bearing with me!


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