The Joys of Home Canning

1759 Words8 Pages
I wiped the sides of the last jar of strawberry freezer jam, screwed

on the lid, and stepped back to admire my handiwork. It didn’t matter

that my shoes stuck to the floor, or that the countertop was spattered

with red stains from the strawberry juice. I didn’t even care that I would

have to shower in order to remove the sugary stickiness from my arms.

The jam looked heavenly and I could hardly wait to slather a heaping

spoonful on a thick slice of homemade bread.

As a young girl, I loved to visit my grandmother. Every meal

included her homemade bread topped with sweet, gooey, homemade jam.

The apricot and strawberry jams were always bottled in dainty jelly jars,

often sealed with wax and covered with tinfoil before being stored in the

freezer. Nana never served the sweet concoctions out of the jars,

however. Each variety was neatly spooned into a tall serving dish divided

into two sections. Somehow the dish made the jams look even more

elegant. It was always so hard to choose which jam to put on my toast. In

fact, sometimes I wanted to just eat the jam with a spoon and forget the


Jam was not the only specialty Nana canned. I would often be sent

to her fruit room to retrieve a bottle of homemade pickles. The fruit room

was in the basement just to the left of a steep set of stairs. I would open

the door cautiously and peer into the cool room to be sure nothing scary

would jump out to get me. The cement room, no bigger than a closet,

was lined on three sides with wooden shelves. A tiny window, set high on

the south wall, was covered with a curtain to keep the light out. I would

turn on the simple bare bulb and stare at the rows and rows of mason jars

filled with tasty treasures. The bottles were f...

... middle of paper ... childhood and Nana’s fruit room. As the first strawberries

of spring arrive in the grocery stores, I find myself inhaling the tart aroma.

One taste of a fresh strawberry sends a tingling sensation up my spine,

reminding me that it is time to bring out the canning equipment again. In

my mind I can already see the jars filled with gooey, red jam and my

mouth waters with anticipation.

Works cited:

Ball Blue Book: The Guide to Home Canning and Freezing, Edition 32.

Muncie: Alltrista Corporation, 1993.

"Basics." Alltrista Corporation, 1999. 6 Apr. 2000.


"Canning." Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, 2000. 6 Apr. 2000.


"Food Processing." Comptons Online Encyclopedia. 6 Apr. 2000.….?fastweb?getdoc+viewcomptons+A+3036+1


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