Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Enjoying the Fruits

My kitchen is echoing with the sound of smacking lips. That and a loud "pop", followed by cheers signal one of my favorite times of year:New Year's Blueberry Harvest. Yeah, no champagne here. It's something even better - homemade blueberry jam.

I was thinking as I munched on a piece of toast lathered in fresh hot jam, while cheering for the popping lids: what an increasingly unique experience. Yet my kids hardly know it. They are growing up thinking that homemade jam, salsa and applesauce are "normal".

Here's the thing: canning and making jams, is a dying art. In years past it was a necessity for winter survival. But with commercial canning, it's now become a delicacy. Moms aren't passing the skills on to their kids. In fact, many of my contemporaries don't know how to can and preserve. We're already on to the second generation of losing this homemaker's skill.

I'm doing my part to pass along the skills to my children. Hopefully they will continue it. They certainly have a culinary appreciation for homemade jam and applesauce. And they're developing the know-how.

Enough rambling. If you're a canning neophyte and want to learn how - give me a ring. I'll be more than happy to teach you. And just so you know - it took us all of an hour to put up 5 jars of jam. It was a matter of crushing blueberries and boiling them with pectin, adding some sugar and then spooning into clean, hot jars. Then we put on the two-piece lids, inverted them for five minutes and enjoyed the scrapings from the pan while we waited. Now I'm listening to lids pop and anticipating a few months of yummy blueberry jam.

Anyone else out there do some sort of home preserving and care to share? I'm thinking I'm not as alone in this as I feel.

5 musings:

Beth said...

My mom used to can green beans and make a few jars of jelly, but she only does a few beans now. She never taught me! I have been curious to learn, though. Maybe I'll give it a try!

The Beast Mom said...

I love homemade preserves/jams/jellies and green beans/pickles too. I, however, have no idea how to make any of this stuff the way Americans make it. (I can make Korean versions of pickled veggies!)

I know there's a lot on-line as far as directions. I've just never tried to look into it.

It's interesting b/c every year, I am the recipient of someone else's work. I get at least one home-canned item from someone every summer or fall. I thoroughly enjoy it. :)


Dedicated Writer said...

This is making me hungry - LOL. I love blueberries!

A Musing Mom said...

Beth - hope you do try. There's nothing like it.

Beast Mom - glad other people share with you. It's not hard if you ever want to give it a try. I can't make any Korean versions of anything. But my mom makes a pretty good Kimchi.

Dedicated Writer - thanks for stopping by. Hope you find blueberries soon! : )

heather said...

I recently learned this. My mom taught me. I usually make my spaghetti sauce. Mom suggested making a large patch and canning it. Loved it! Made life easier.
So now I'm canning spaghetti sauce, apple sauce, dog food...
Okay, not dog food.