Oh, to can or not to can? Without fail, each year the thought of canning seems a bit overwhelming to me. Make no mistake; canning is clearly tedious work and probably a tiny bit old-fashioned for some. However, there is no comparison to the fresh flavor and self gratification of canning your very own.
I remember my mother “putting up” quarts of peaches, pickles, tomatoes and jams every year, as did my Aunt Margie and Grandma Ferrell. While visiting my grandmother I remember going down to the cellar to bring up jam for breakfast with both excitement and anxiousness. For a little girl, the cellar was indeed a damp, dark and scary place. However, once the light was turned on, my heart was happy, as I remember shelves of colorful jars of fruits, vegetables and jams aligned perfectly, showcasing their bountiful, ordered beauty. For my elder homemakers, the full pantry was not only a sense of pride and order, but also a true sense of security. For during their time, canning was a necessity to get though the poor, long Depression winters.
After buying our farmette some 15 years ago, I found myself in a “canningpolooza” quite suddenly. For the tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, raspberries, peach and apple trees are not patient fruits and vegetables. For when they are ripe and ready, so must you be. It was an adjustment to find time for it all at first, but something I had looked forward doing since watching my mother can so long ago. As years passed, it became as part of my summer traditions as planting flowers and going up north. In fact, I often canned on our week family vacation on Lake Louise! My family loved my homemade jars of joy to eat and to give away as special gifts.
My pantry isn’t as bursting as it once was, as my time at the shop keeps me from “putting up” as much as I used to. However, I am thrilled to say, that for the first time since my farm market days, I am selling my delicious herb-infused jams on-line and eventually at the store.
As for the question, to can, or not to can, my sentimental message is clear, I urge all “to can”. For the contentment of carrying on an American tradition, along with the pride and joy that canning evokes is truly priceless.
Xoxo Linda – -Eat pie, can and keep traditions.
*The charming pantry picture enclosed is of my webmaster Gail’s ” jars of joyfulness”!
I just got back from a very filling and comforting meal at Bob Evans with my husband, daughters and elderly parents. We all sat around eating and smiling while stuffing dinner roll after dinner roll smothered in butter and honey in our mouths. Although the dinner wasn’t outstanding, it was good and it was comforting, exactly what Mr. Evans was aiming for, I suspect.
Actually, the same exact scene takes place at my own dining room table three or four times a week as my family gathers to eat delicious, warm and comforting food. Comfort food and family have gone to together like peas and carrots for generations. I know my mommy and daddy love to eat foods they grew up with amongst their children and grandchildren. The food and the company is always simple and sweet and oh, so memorable.
The trueness of comfort food is indisputable. Although, I often think that we underestimate the sincerity of a platter of pork chops and homemade applesauce or the coziness of a pot of chicken and dumplings simmering on the back burner. And well, nothing beats the security of a warm, cinnamon apple pie, nothing. In other words, comfort food soothes our souls, makes us feel loved, revered and significant. I truly believe comfort food takes most of us back to the simple and secure feelings of childhoods long ago where magic and Santa still live in our hearts, as does hot cocoa, chicken soup and bowls of tapioca pudding!
So, let us carry on, O’ comfort food, as mothers for generations before us have done so lovingly, so profoundly. I propose us all to make our dinners as loving and comforting as possible with whatever comfort foods hold true to our own individual families. Together, my sweeties, we will change the world one pie and tuna noodle casserole at a time. :) Eat pie, love life, Xoxxolinda
For comfort food ideas, check out the RECIPE section with all the Sweetie-licious’ staff favorites or go to NEWSLETTERS on the HOME page and check out all the archived newsletters – lots of good comfort recipes there as well!
My Daddy is a man of simple passions and pleasures. He loves dogs, farms, newspapers, visiting with people, hardware stores, pigs, education, fixing cars, collecting old radios, WWII memorabilia, feeding birds and squirrels, doctor appointments, collecting boxes, garage sales, laughter, story-telling, butter pecan ice cream, marigolds, flannel shirts, Tiger baseball, history, peanuts, his family and PIE!
One of my fondest memories while growing up was listening to Detroit Tiger baseball games on the radio together on warm summer nights. I often helped him hold a flashlight to the car engine as he tinkered on one of our warn-out, old cars. We loved listening to Ernie Harwell’s tranquil voice announce the play by play into the night. He and I would talk about the line-up, the players’ averages, and why Al Kaline was in a slump.
My daddy’s love for his family was paramount and where he got his greatest joy. He loved telling stories of his one-room schoolhouse days and of their farm growing up to all of us kids. He spoke of hard work with honor and respect and love for his neighbors and relatives with pride.
My daddy loves people, loves talking to all people that cross his path. His bank teller, waitresses, or hardware store assistant would soon become fast friends as he loved to meet and enjoy people.
He also had a huge sweet tooth, as I do. Sometimes he would stop for candy bars or ice cream cones on road trips, which thrilled me beyond compare. But he loved pie most of all, and always, always appreciated my mommy’s delicious homemade pies, and later in life, my own homemade pies!
My daddy’s smile and laugh have always been my favorite. He absolutely loves to laugh, as his eyes squint up with an ear to ear grin covering his face, when he finds something pleasing, which he does often.
My daddy was a wonderful father. He is sadly crippled now, nearly bed ridden and his mind does numbers on him at times. It is evident we are losing my great father to age, but not his purpose, for we all are destined to create a legacy with the amount of time God gives us here on earth. My daddy certainly has done that for me, and I am sure I can speak for my three brothers and sister as well. Thank you, daddy for leaving me with your spirit of unconditional love and respect of people, laughter, appreciating and honoring our past, the importance of story-telling, great passions and most importantly, the love for family!
With gratitude and deep love, my sweet, sweet daddy!
Addendum - Daddy passed on to heaven on January 6, 2012
In a few days we will celebrate Presidents’ Day in recognition of great Presidents like Abraham Lincoln. As much as I feel compelled to write about Lincoln, I also feel almost “wordless.”
However, I do know two truths that stand out in my mind when I think of great men and women, and especially Abraham Lincoln. I believe that people who do great things have two virtues above all others; the capacity to dream and the aptitude to live a selfless life.
People who live their lives selflessly understand their purpose. They understand that standing up for all that is good and just, loving all living beings equally, and living their life doing good for others is the secret to life. They believe that loving all people above themselves is the answer.
People who live their lives dreaming understand that there is hope in all of life. They understand that through their selfless contributions to make a difference in our world and believing in their hearts that the dream can and will come true, it will. They never stop believing in the dream. No matter what, they believe. No matter what the costs, no matter how it affects them personally, they never think of themselves and religiously believe in the dream.
Abraham Lincoln started off no different then you and me. He was an ordinary person who did extraordinary things because he was selfless. He made a difference in our world because he realized his cause was bigger than himself and dreamed that he could make it better.
Let us all decide today to be more like Abraham Lincoln and make our world a more lovely place for everyone
Eat Pie and Make a Difference – Linda xoxo