Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Like Pioneer Women

Yesterday, my mom, my sister, both of my daughters and I decided to try something new. We decided to can. Yep, just like the women from the prairie days, we gathered in my kitchen along with 60 pounds of tomatoes, 6 pounds of blueberries and many pots of boiling water to preserve a bit of summer for the winter.

The girls were full participants in this endeavor. They washed, scored, blanched, peeled and diced many a fruit yesterday. Actually, I was a bit shocked they could participate at the level they did. Of course, Maggie thought no one worked harder than she did, and La Nina skipped out to buy ice and more jars with her Papa the first chance she got. But that's the nature of my daughters. They also learned first hand that tomatoes really go into tomato sauce and that lemon is a natural preservative. We also talked a lot about how canning was the only way some people ate fruits and vegetables during the winter. I don't think this lesson stuck, but we tried.

As much as we researched this adventure, we missed some of the finer points. For instance, those racks really help in the water baths when you install them correctly. The jar lifters work better when you aren't trying to lift jars with the handles. (We figured that one out late in the afternoon after dropping many jars.) The sound of lids popping is musical is a funny sort of way when you're tired. And no one feels like cooking much after canning all day.

What did we get for our efforts? We each received 8 jars of wonderful blueberry syrup. We were trying for jam, but something went array. However, the syrup tastes awesome. Our 18 bottles of crushed tomatoes look like pumpkin juice. (We used heirlooms...probably should have used romas.) Not sure if that worked out so well or not. Our 18 jars of tomato sauce are amazing. I had some for dinner last night. As long as those jars sealed right, we will be dining like queens and kings this winter.

Mostly, we had a wonderful intergenerational experience, I'm sure the girls will not forget. The whole experience was not difficult. Just time consuming and exhausting. And it's always nice to spend the day working on a project with family, sharing stories and laughing. We had so much fun, we hope to make it an annual event.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home