When we were a wee little girls, Sis and I would be put on a plan in Seattle and we'd be picked up at the Wichita airport in Kansas by Grandma Ava, Papa's mom. We would spend a few weeks during the summer with Grandma Ava making all kinds of jams, jellies and apple butter.
To this day, the smell of apple butter takes me right back to Grandma's kitchen. I can remember being up to our elbows in apricot pulp while Grandma was at the stove stirring the jellies.
As much as those are some of my favorite childhood memories, one of my biggest regrets was that I didn't pay more attention to what steps Grandma took to make and can her jams. Now that we are adults, Sis and I have both wondered what is involved in canning. To the novice, it seems SO intimidating.
Once we knew Auntie P was coming to visit, we immediately asked her to teach us how to can because she is a canning queen! I kid you not, in one week she canned 28 quarts of grape juice, 5 half pints of nectarine jam, 12 pints of plum jam, and countless jars of tomatoes. I'd always wonder, "How on earth does she do it?"
On our canning day we headed to the store to pick up jars, 25 pounds of apples for apple sauce, 2 big bags of plums for plum jam and the ingredients for Grandma Ava's apple butter.
When we got home, the first thing Auntie P told us was to make sure we put our tennis shoes on because we were going to be on our feet all day. I thought she was crazy. She was not kidding. We started canning at 11am and didn't finish until 10pm. We had so many laughs thru the day, but my feet hurt so bad!
|Auntie P and Sis stirring up the first pot |
of apples for apple sauce.
|One rule of canning, makeup is clearly not required.|
|Grant spent a good amount of time on momma's back, |
but loved using the little colander as a hat.
Being easily amused runs deep in our family blood.
|Also, canning is a dangerous task.|
Be sure to wear your helmet.
|See those fake smiles? I got on them about those super serious faces |
from the bracelet making shindig. This is what they gave me.
These are the fruits of our labor!
9 pints of apple butter, 18 pints of various apple sauces and 24 half pints of plum jam! Not too shabby for 11 hours of labor.
So, here's the story: Canning is NOT hard. It's actually pretty easy when you break it all down into steps...BUT...there are A LOT of steps. It's not difficult; it's tedious and really does take all day to peel, core, chop, cook, and can, but the pay offis so good. I mean really, look at all those jars!?!
Auntie P, thanks for taking an entire day out of your visit to teach us how to can!
Sis and I are excited to can seasonal fruits and veggies next year.
Check back later this evening and I'll be posting my Grandma's super easy, super delicious, apple butter recipe.
PS: What do you think of CHIMA's new fall look?