Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What's old is New again- Summer in a Jar

This weekend my daughter's and I canned tomatoes.  With produce we got earlier from the farm visit, we created these lovely jars of summer!   As I was showing them the tricks of canning I couldn't help but think how I learned to do this.

Growing up on a farm in North Dakota, we grew most of our food.   These big gardens provided us with all the veggies that we used through the winter.   Lettuce and such was only enjoyed in season.  Our grocery stores would also get fruit in season ( like I mentioned in my peach blog) which we also canned, jammed, and froze. It was not an option of choosing to learn how to do this stuff, but one of necessity.

Corn-- my dad's favorite was planted with his tractor with space between series of rows to get a pick up through.  He would check that corn field each day as it was getting ripe for picking.  When that glorious day came, we had corn for dinner.  That was all - just corn.  Then we would get out to the field and pick.  My sister would be on one side of the pick-up and I on the other.  We would pick and throw the corn in the bed of the pick-up till it was full.  Then go to the house where mom was waiting with all the freezing tools ready.  Shucking 100's of ears was the norm of the day.  We blanched the corn in great big pots, then would take the hot corn outside to cool off with the garden hose.  The next big step was cutting the corn off the cobs.  What a job. We did this for a whole day and would get who knows how many bags of golden yumminess. In fact it was some what of a competition in our small community to see who had the best tasting frozen corn.  Do you use cream? butter and cream?

Tomatoes were another staple in the garden.  Rows and Rows of tomatoes.  We made canned tomatoes, tomato juice, sauce and froze them.  This was another long day at the stove.  But there we  were learning how to 'put up' the garden's rewards. Jars would be lined up like a little choir dressed in their red robes.

Pickles-   This could be a book in of itself!  Pickles were a staple at every meal.  Dill, Dill with garlic, Bread and Butter's, relishes of every kind imaginable.  We even had certain pickles for holidays- like watermelon pickles.  Yum!

So I of course have always had a small city garden that produced plenty for our family. In the fall, I would spend long evenings canning and 'putting up' the produce.  This was also the beginning of school so I was busy with all sorts of work.  So I tried to talk my children into helping me.  But just like the little red hen, the answer was 'NOT I'.

Years have now passed and my daughters are grown, with CSA's (  Community Supported Agriculture )   They have more produce then they can eat at a time and are thinking of those jars of summer that they so enjoyed during their childhood.  Also, they are very conscientious about WHAT is in their food.  When you do your own preserving you KNOW what is in your food.  So here they came with the request for me to teach them how to can.  Not a grumble or a whine was heard, but rather how do you do this, or why do you do that.  It seems that preserving your own food is back in vogue.  There are blogs, books, all out there for the next generation.  My daughter's have now received copies of my mother's and her mother's recipes of favorite pickles, relishes, and canning secrets.  It seems what was an old task that was necessary for variety on your dining table is now New Again.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mirror, Mirrow on the wall, I am my mother after all!!!!!

I can't believe I did this!!!!!!   I rearranged my daughter's kitchen cabinets.  Yep you heard right.  When my mom would come to visit, she would be HELPFUL  and redo my kitchen cabinets.  It would take me weeks to find things and get them put back the way I liked them.  Then she would visit and do it AGAIN!!!!  

Wellllll, this week I was babysitting and my daughter's silverware drawer was a mess.  I know that time is precious and she didn't have time to organize,  the baby was sleeping soooooo   I fell over to the dark side and rearranged her silverware drawer!  Just couldn't help myself.  All the while I was saying,  -- boy I remember when my mom did this for me and I HATED IT.  But did that stop me?   NO 

I didn't leave a note or anything for I was hoping she wouldn't notice.  I could have been creative and said the 'great pumpkin was here' but nope.  So the next day, I went to the farm with her to help pick vegies.  I didn't say a word,  just smiled. :)   She didn't say anything till it got to be lunch time.  " So do all mom's have to rearrange their daughter's kitchens?"  I just smiled :)  We then chuckled,  I promised I wouldn't do it again,  BUT   ........

So have you caught yourself doing something your mother did, and you just hated it, but to find there you are doing it too? 
Would love to hear your story.