When I was going up, I use to spend the summers at my grandparents house in Alabama. By the end of summer their garden was overflowing with ripe vegetables and my grandparents and I would start canning. I never questioned why we did it. I only knew that it was my job to snap off the ends from the green beans and put the endless beans in a bowl. We also prepared the fresh vegetables for freezing.
Later in life, after I was married, my husband and I brought a house that had many fruit trees. When my grandmother came to visit us one fall the fruit trees and grape vines were all ripe. My grandmother must have thought I was crazy because I had not started picking the fruit and making ready to start canning the fruit. She hastily started the process. We ended up with applesauce, apple butter, preserved apples, peaches, grapes and plums. I think my husband and I had jars of fruit for two years. I must say that it was wonderful smelling the fresh aromas of the fruit and later tasting the rewards of our efforts.
I have not canned any fruit or vegetables for quite some time. After I got out of the Navy I went to work in food processing. Of course I enjoy the electrical and mechanical aspect of food processing. I also love automation and much to others dismay, I am always looking for new ways to make tasks easier, safer and faster with out losing quality.
This past weekend I was looking for recipes to make for our anniversary dinner. I ran across one of the recipes that my grandmother had hand written for me for canning the apples. A flood of memories overwhelmed me and the simplicity and joys of the days I used to spend with my grandparents canning and freezing our summer’s bounty.
It made me wonder how much quality time is lost with family with all the conveniences of today. It is cheaper to go a pick up a can of green beans or a jar of preserves than it is to make it yourself. The days we spent preparing the food to freeze and can were some of my best memories. Laughing and joking as we prepared the food.
What traditions or time that you spent with family has changed since you were going up due to modern conveniences?