Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Mom Taught Me How To Store Food

From the time I was a young girl, our family always worked together to make sure we had plenty of food stored away for the long winter months ahead. Each of my parents grew up on a farm in the early 1900’s, and I’m sure they learned to plan ahead from their parents.

For us, the canning season started in June with cherries and didn’t end until October with the grapes. When I was little, I can remember picking the cherries off the stems, so my mom could wash and put them into bottles. My mom patiently taught us each step in the canning process. Our age determined what she allowed us to do. I was much older before she permitted me to stir anything on the hot stove.

Some of the fruit we grew and some we purchased at fruit stands. Occasionally people would share their crop with us. I loved the cherries and peaches. They were easy to can and tasted wonderful.

Like my parents, I also learned to store food. Sometimes it was the only way to survive. It was a work I enjoyed, and one we were always glad I did. It didn’t take us long to know that this was one way for a young couple to survive.

I never liked to can pears and I’ve always been glad that my husband doesn’t like them so unless someone gave us pears I never had to bottle them. Every year we had so many apricots given to us that after a few years we declined because we were sick of them. Now that the children have left the nest I don’t do much canning. Looking back over the years, I’m grateful for a family that worked together canning food.

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