Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The knee surgery I had the end of May put me out of commission much longer than I had anticipated, but am slowly regaining my strength and resuming daily activities. Many thanks to all who have faithfully been checking my blog, knowing I would return one day!
Jordan helped me can cherries last week and we put up 14 quarts of cherries and 16 jars of jam. Mmmm, I had to bake bread the next day just so we could have that delicious jam on fresh bread. It was so worth it! These were some of the best cherries I have ever had and came out of Benton City, Washington, which is located about 45 minutes away. I find it extremely satisfying to put up food for the winter this way and love to gaze upon the vibrant colors of the fruit jars lined up on the pantry shelves. As the summer wanes and the nights start to chill, I often feel this strange compulsion to stuff jars full of any produce I can lay my hands on and have experimented with some unusual recipes such as pickled watermelon and corncob jelly.
I have strong memories of my grandmothers putting away food for the cold season and recall the dusty, apple-scented must of the fruit room in the cellar. My little girl eyes would shine with wonder as I contemplated the perfect jar of fruit to choose to accompany us at dinner, or the jar of pickles to take on the family picnic. I would remember the hot, sticky days of laughter as we picked fruit on a family outing, the yellow jackets causing shrieks from us kids as they competed with us for the sweet fruit. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches eaten in the grass of the orchard with cold, fresh water to wash them down. Faces stained with juice as we had eaten enough for a belly ache. Preserving food, preserving tradition, preserving memories. I am proud to carry on this family legacy.
Until next time, may you be blessed with sweet traditions weaving the past with the present and tendriling on into the future.