Lovely day to make some jam!
Journaling Reads: I can remember riding my bike to my Aunt Sue’s house nearly every week during the summertime. Only 2 miles away it seemed like a whole other world to me. My aunt had the same house and postage stamp yard as our family but her entire back half of the yard was a huge garden filled with tomatoes, beans, peas, zucchini and other delicious vegetables. I would help in the garden and then help her in the kitchen. So much was learned in her small kitchen - she was always patient and never yelled if I made a mistake or a mess of something. I learned to shell peas properly, how to shuck corn and how to peel the skin off of tomatoes using boiling water and an ice bath. I learned how to cook and preserve the summer bounty in little jars. I started making jelly with wax coverings and eventually moved to canning with lids and rings. I learned why fruits need a water bath and vegetables (except tomatoes) use a pressure cooker to complete the process. I learned to listen for the “pop” and see the lid go concave to tell me that the jar sealed properly. I learned the difference between making jam and jelly. I learned how pickle zucchini and cucumbers. Her small storage room in the basement had shelves filled with jars of everything! They sat there like little jewels - colorful and inviting! It was magical in a way and I am forever spoiled into only eating home made jelly. I miss those days and I miss my aunt’s quiet laughter and advice so today I made strawberry jam and thought of her. I think she would be pleased to know I am still using her old canning pots and jar lifter decades later just like we did at her house all those summers long ago.

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