As I grew up I remember by mom canning and putting things in the adobe house we had on the farm in Colorado. The adobe house was built to keep an even temperature of about 50 degrees and it stored many mason jars of fruits and vegetables, as well as canned beef. I also remember my mom making huge amounts of yeast rolls and putting them in the freezer to be used at a later date. I look back now and see it was a great way to feed growing kids and keep the budget down. Her cinnamon rolls would line the kitchen countertops and the table until they rose to just the right height for the final step, the oven. She made these knot rolls that were dipped in warm butter and then rolled in cinnamon sugar. They were then placed carefully in a cake pan, left to rise and then be baked. I remember how soft they were when they came out of the oven and had just the right amount of crunch when you bit into the bottom layer, the part that had touched the cake pan just perfectly.
We think of this as the old ways, things our parents did. We could never do this or even attempt the feat of canning. I guess the question is why not? Today I pulled out the strawberries and blackberries I had in the refrigerator and I pulled out my canning equipment. It has been more than a few years since I have made jam, but I knew it would come back to me. I pulled the instructions out of the SureJel package to reorient myself with the process and I set about making my own jam. After a little while it came back to me, lol I did keep checking back with the instructions to make sure I was remembering right. The one thing I did, not on the instruction sheet, was to put the lids in warm water to help seal the lids when I tightened them on the jars. After an hour of very satisfying work, I have my jars of berry jam sitting on a towel on my island.
It would have been easy to walk into the grocery store and purchase a jar of jam, but it would not be as good as my jam. Now I am not saying my jam is something special because it is just like every other jar I am sure, but it is special because I made it. I put my love into each jar and I put the work into that jam. It is funny how you smile each time you hear the ping from the kitchen. Each ping means another jar is ready for storage and you feel this satisfaction of doing something special for those around you.
The old ways are still the best ways. I know what is in my jam, I know there are no funky preservatives, no odd chemicals and I can taste the pure ingredients with each bite I take. Sometimes we have to stop and take a step back in time. Think about how much the little things mean to our family, how good we feel when we do things the old way and how much love is put into each bite.
Here are my 12 jars of love. Have a great day!