The first home that I can remember was an acre carved out of the Southern California hillside. My parents scrimped and saved and worked every weekend on the sprawling homestead. There was a mini orchard, brambles full of blackberries, rows of strawberries, and the old peach tree out by the driveway.
Every summer, my grandmother would come over and she and my mother would can. The canning itself is a hazy memory. A big pot. Sweet sweet jam smeared over toast. My grandmother has since passed on but a few weeks ago, my mother and I did what so many generations of women have done before us. We pulled out the big black canning pot. Sterilized jars. Smushed strawberries. Added pectin. And water bathed our way into family history.
We only do this once a summer, usually. The rest of the summer is a blur of visits, summer camps, and canning in the quiet of my own kitchen. But canning with my mother, just as she canned with her mother, is something that should be savored at least once a year.
This morning, popping open a jar of Bean woman strawberry jam, I smiled. Thanks mom for passing on the tradition. Yes, we can!
August 13th is the first annual National Can It Forward Day! It is co-hosted the makers of Ball canning jars and Canning Across America. In celebration of the resurgence of canning (I literally could not find pectin or canning equipment in any brick and mortar 4 years ago!) and the deliciousness that is home-canned goodness, here are a few of my favorite past posts on the subject:
- Quick Berry, Quack Berry: I host a canning party and we make more than just jam.
- Jammin: I indulge in the peace that is canning.
- There's More Than One Way to Skin . . .: My favorite ways to savor the harvest, topped by canning.
Please come back on Thursday for a special canning giveaway! Now, go get your can on.