Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Country Life = Canning Applesauce and Preserving Memories

This was my day yesterday - canning applesauce.

To be honest, I don't like working up apples. I enjoy canning, but I find apples to be very tiresome. Cutting them up, cooking them to make them soft, running them through the strainer, and finally reaching the canning stage......... lots of work! But totally worth it.

Anytime I can, memories come flooding back. Mostly of me and my mom canning together, which we did every summer. She has been gone for several years, but every single time I can, I hear her voice guiding me in the steps. I am so glad I paid attention! I treasure those memories more than I can express. We shared many happy times as we "put up" food for winter. 

With apples though, the memories also include my dad. They had several apple trees, so I can see him picking them, and bringing them into the kitchen in one bushel basket after another. If they didn't have a good crop, they would buy apples from a local orchard. When my kids were small, the orchard owner would sometimes drop off their order at their house. She was a story teller, and I can still see my kids sitting there, soaking up every word she said.

Dad didn't usually help with the canning, but he did with the apples, because they would put up several bushels. So every fall, he and mom would turn their kitchen into an applesauce factory. Mom knew which varieties to cook together to make the best sauce. I remember one year when the sauce came out pink from the red peelings. It was delicious!

There was much more preserved in that kitchen than food. I miss them both terribly, but am so very thankful for the lessons... and the memories.

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