Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Preservation


I canned four jars of pickled banana peppers from our garden today -- first time I've canned since moving to Louisiana. Sadly, these peppers are the only thing I presently have growing in our garden. We planted tomatoes too late. We got only a handful of bell peppers. And that's all we planted. For some reason, our one banana pepper plant was prolific. I hope someday to have a large garden. And an orchard. Berry bushes growing along the fence.

There is something so satisfying about putting up, storing away, preserving summer's goodness for the lean winter months. Canning reminds me of my childhood, spending time with my grandmother. Corn, green beans, peaches, and tomatoes. She'd sweat in the heat of the kitchen, steam rolling off the vats of water baths, competing with the other women on the ridge to see who could amass the most jars. Grandma would line the basement shelves with the colorful filled containers like an athlete displays her trophies. Then she'd feed her family for a year.

Canning makes a woman feel industrious and proud. If she's particularly proud, or prodded, she may enter the fruit of her labors in the county fair competition, hoping to win a blue ribbon and recognition for her hard work.

What have you preserved lately? Produce, memories, words . . . ?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Angie, i love this one. Brings back so many wonderful memories. So has the song goes, "thanks for the memories".

Common Household Mom said...

My aunt and I once made grape jelly from the grapes growing in my great-aunt's yard. We made 70 jars of jelly in one day. It lasted for years! But we never did it again because it was such hard work, and so hot.

Other than that, I haven't done any canning. As for preserving other things, I keep way too many things - books, papers, etc. But I like to preserve memories. About once a year I try to "interview" each of my kids, and write down what their answers are for posterity.

Anonymous said...

I wrote a comment that promptly disappeared. I used to can and freeze a great deal. We had a large garden and also picke fruit at orchards and strawberry fields. I canned veggies, fruit, made pickles (Mrs. Smith's lime pickles, watermelon pickles and canteloupe pickles). Strawberry freezer jam was one of my favorites. I froze 10 dozen ears of corn one year. That's when I made homemade bread, etc. Now I just happily go to the supermarket and enjoy the fruits of someone else's labors. Jim has a small garden now and 4 fruit trees. We love the fresh veggies and the navel oranges are my favorite.
Keep up the good work, Angie, and keep blogging. Love to read it.

bev

Anonymous said...

I have to agree about the industrious feeling of providing for our family and others. It's really not as hard as some may think. I've been living on a farm now for 5 years with a garden the past 4 of those years. I've canned, froze, cooked and baked so much. I've found some really cool recipes and have surprised my family with tasty variations of the normal dinnertime fare. One of my favorite recipes is Zucchini Crumble. It tastes just like apple crisp...and I mean just like. Another interesting discovery was green tomato jelly. Yummy.
This year, so far, I've canned 27 quarts of pickled beets in 2 days. I'm getting ready to make some tomato sauce tomorrow after church and a baseball banquet.
I love hearing these stories.
Thanks, Angie for the blog.

janridernewman said...

Nice job, Angie! How do you use your peppers? On sandwiches? I canned some banana peppers too, but I ran them through a food processor and made a kind of relish with sugar. Also canned figs. Alas, no pears this year. Canning is a very homey thing that I love to have done once it's done. The cooking part is okay, but the canning and water bath part is kind of a pain. Good memories of my mom making pickles and chow-chow. Which led me to memories of homemade cake icing. Remember that ?

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Thanks, Jan. My own family did not have a history of homemade icing, but Bob's family is crazy for it. Boiled icing, they call it. Chocolate cake with white icing. It's their family tradition. I tried to make it once. The icing all ran down the sides of the cake. Messy. Just give me a can. Better yet, a bakery.