There was an article yesterday on the NPR website that caught my eye, Canning as a way to remember the past, welcome the future. Although I am a baker by trade, my mother made sure that my knowledge of the Domestic Arts was well-rounded. Preserving and canning was a relatively frequent occurrence at my house, and although it can be an arduous process (at least to me), it is most certainly a gratifying one. I treasure the time spent with my Mom stooped over the stove, chatting about life while waiting for our peach jam to set.
For as long as I can remember, I've loved "jams and jellies," as my Grandmother referred to them, which is perhaps why I enjoy making my Jam Sandwich Cookies so much - another time intensive but highly gratifying and delicious task. There are few things better than a well-made jam or jar of preserves. And whether the fruit stands alone or is paired with any number of interesting variations available today, I absolutely love the process of testing/tasting preserves and thinking of ways to pair them with my own baked goods.
So, if you have a minute, I highly recommend clicking on the link above and reading this lovely article.
Here are a few quotes from it that particularly resonated with me...
"... it's meditative. Little niggling stresses faded as I filled my bowls; the scratches I earned in the process I wore proudly as battle scars."
"At many moments during the picking and canning process, I thought about where those blackberries were destined — some would be layered into the cake I have still to bake, alternating with ribbons of homemade lemon curd. But most will go to our guests, all close friends and family, many of whom are traveling a great distance to be with us on our wedding day. As I cooked, I imagined them returning home and unpacking their jam to spread on good whole-wheat toast, stir into yogurt, drizzle over vanilla (or lemon?) ice cream. I hope each bite reminds them of California, and of how much they mean to us."
"As Indian summer waxes in Northern California and "that day" fast approaches, my old friend turned soon-to-be-husband and I have tucked away a jar of blackberry jam to eat after the berry stains have faded and the rush of the wedding has subsided.
Sometime, in February perhaps, we'll open it up. It will taste slightly bittersweet, as blackberries do when you don't add too much sugar (I tend to err on the side of less is more). We'll dip spoons straight in and remember this summer — and all the summers before when we scrambled over rocks and chased tadpoles in the pond as children. We'll congratulate each other on surviving this last mad dash and toast to our future. As long as we have jam, I think we'll do just fine."
Photo & Original Article by Nicole Spiridakis for NPR.