Canning season. It used to be fun for the first day, then it got to be old stuff when it interfered with playing with friends. I used to be the fruit jar washer because my hands were just the right size to get inside a glass fruit jar. I have washed tubs of fruit jars in one day – I didn’t come any ways near killing me but I never did learn to like it. I always wanted to trade jobs with someone else and get to put the food inside the jars. My mom used to dread canning season, more because of the fact that it heated up the house until it would be too hot to rest at night; I am talking back to the days of wood-burning cook stoves, no airconditioning and very few fans, other than cardboard ones made, mostly, from the kid of a shoe box or a school tablet back. A lot sweat was mopped away with an apron tail those days!

Some of the things I remember best about home canning:

We would scald the tomatoes in the outside wash kettle to make the skins slip off.

Mom always trimmed the cabbage stalks and pickled them in the jars of kraut, making sure to put in one stalk for each of us kids to head-off a big fight in the Winter when the jar was opened.


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