Grammy, my great-grandmother, took care of me quite often when I was a small child.  During the Depression, she was hired by the County Extension Service to go around the countryside teaching women, especially in low-income families, how to safely can vegetables.  She had a pressure canner that she took with her and helped the women put up food so their families might have a little more to eat in the winter.

I did not start canning until I was in college.  I did not learn how to can from my great grandmother, my grandmothers, or mother.   Though a few women my family did can a things:  one grandmother (BJ) would put up blackberry jelly and raspberry and strawberry jam, and my aunt (mother’s sister) would can sweet pickles.  My brother and I loved picking blackberries on forest roads near their mountain home for our grandmother’s jelly, and I always enjoyed my aunt’s so-very-sweet pickles.   But, I had a small appreciation for “putting up food”.

This year I put up 40 quarts of applesauce, a very often eaten food in this household (though not by me), and 20 quarts of peaches (a wonderful winter dessert), and a handful of jellies and jams for toast and biscuits, and a batch of pickled beets for winter snacks and salads.

I thought I was done with applesauce for the year, but William picked more apples this weekend before the rainstorm.  I may have some more work to do.


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