Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Preserving Memories

This is the time of year when the leaves change colors, the wind blows cooler, and the gardens are full of beautifully colored vegetables bursting with flavor. It’s the time of year when, like squirrels gathering nuts for the winter, homemakers are canning and freezing fruits and vegetables like crazy. They’re “squirreling away” goodies for those days when snow covers the ground in thick blankets and Old Man Winter paints icicles on the window panes.

Canning season is an ideal time to teach children. Yes, it takes longer when tiny hands help, but children enjoy filling jars, measuring and stirring ingredients and seeing the jars lined up on the cabinets, full of brightly-colored foods. Although they might not like salsa or green beans, they know they helped preserve those foods. It gives them a sense of pleasure to know they helped and you’ve created memories that will last a lifetime.

I spent yesterday morning canning salsa with family. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that, so I embraced the morning. My two-year old granddaughter and three-year old grandson were with me. It reminded me of some of my favorites times… canning season with my kids.

We skinned the ruby red tomatoes, diced them, and poured them into a huge pan. After dicing and adding other spices and vegetables such as onions, peppers, olives, and mushrooms, we boiled the mixture. We poured it into jars, covered them with lids, and placed them in the pressure cooker. Later, we placed the steaming jars on the cabinets to cool. What did we gain for our efforts? Aching feet and backs, tired hands, and jars and jars of mouth-watering salsa.

We shared memories, laughter, and companionship yesterday. I miss the days when my children surrounded me and their busy hands were in the middle of this pan or that jar … the days have flown. However, it was comforting having my grandchildren there. Even though they’re so very young, they’ll remember the glass jars filled with the ruby red mixture, and maybe one day they’ll be sharing the same memories with their own children. I sure hope so.

This is a good site for tips and recipes on canning:


terri.forehand said...

Great post. I too love to can and embrace every moment I get with my grandchildren. Tomorrow morning it is sweat roll making time for us as we had a sleep-over this weekend. Keep Writing... and enjoy.


Judy said...

Hi Lisa,
Fun, but exhausting. I spent the day in the kitchen with my grandson yesterday. However, he was sitting on the floor with a plastic bowl, spoons, and measuring cups making his own thing.

Grandma was doing the rest of the work for the meal. He is not quite 2 so not ready for the big time yet.

We had fun and that's what counts.

Theresa Schultz said...


What a lovely post. It's so great you can continue the tradition with your grand children.


Theresa Schultz said...

How nice that you could share this tradition with your grandchildren.


Mom's Pledge said...

I like your books, keep writing, I hope to buy one soon.