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"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)


Wednesday, 7 April 2010

a dying art

when I was a little girl, jam making & preserving was something that was part of my everyday. My grandma was a great one for making jams, pickles, chutneys and lemon butter. jars were saved, washed and stored for the day when she would make one or another.

today, I found an old CWA cookbook in a drawer
and as I browsed through the out of fashion recipes, [recipes like 'time saver stew', scalloped parsnips' & Maitland salad'] ~ I had a brain snap and thought I might join the CWA ladies and revive the lost art of jam & chutney making... however, I don't think I am quite the CWA lady type.

I do still have my vacola kit which I might get out when I move to Villa Maria.. I use to bottle preserves quite alot.. driving out to the country to buy boxes of plums or peaches from farms and bringing them back to bottle for winter...

I think it is important though, not to let these 'arts' die... knitting, preserving, jam making.... they take us back to simpler times, don't you think? times, when standing at the sink, washing up was a meditation. and that is what I hope to do at Villa Maria.. a smaller home & garden, will give me a little more time to live a simpler, more meditative life.

tonight, I soak my feet in the hottest water I can stand.. on direction of my acupuncturist ~ according to her, by doing this it will help my volcanic night sweats.. one can only hope.

14 comments:

Tinker said...

It's so funny, we seem to be in sync - I've been working on a little illo sketch about preserving and canning since enjoying the delicious jams my cousin sent me. I think those are important skills we need to keep alive.
Hope you had a lovely, happy Easter! Congratulations on your new home, Robyn. Wishing you much joy and many blessings there~xox

Fire Byrd said...

I'll leave the preserving and jam to you, but am way ahead in doing the knitting again.
xx

Fire Byrd said...

I'll leave the preserving and jam to you, but am way ahead in doing the knitting again.
xx

Janet said...

I agree that we must keep these "arts" alive. In the past HB and I have done some canning of fruits and veggies, and I've made pickles but it has been years since I've done anything like that. Now you've got me thinking! With summer coming (here) it might be a good time to revive some of those old skills and put up our own food.

mxtodis123 said...

I remember my grandma making preserves. They had grape vines in the backyard, and she used to make grape jam. It was so, so good.
Mary

Diva Kreszl said...

that's a remedy I had not heard before, hope it works! I too used to can quite a bit, now very little. perhaps I'll do some fruit preserves again this year when the summer fruits are in season :)

amelia said...

I knit all the time but I'm not going to start canning and all that stuff any time soon!!

I really don't know about the hottest water thing. I hope it works for you, I'll be very interested to hear the results!!

Serena said...

My own family have never done preserving thing, however, I did get to help my American mother-in-law make some preserves when we lived in the States for a time. I'm more of a knitting, crochet, sewing and handicraft gal myself but I do agree that preserving is a wonderful and rewarding art to keep alive.

Searching For My Willoughby said...

I'm about the only one who puts up her own food in my little neck of the woods. I make all our jams, jellies, butters and such plus preserving much of our garden harvest. I learned as a young girl with my mom, and when I had my own home, she would come help me. I hope my girls carry on the tradition. There's such pleasure in growing, harvesting, preserving, and eating. Plus, you know what went into it.

gemma said...

There is a canning center here where you can take your boxes of tomatoes
or strawberries what ever's in season, bring your own jars and they can & pressurize them for you. It is becoming a lost art. My mom used to can veggies, jams and all kinds of things at home. Even meat. It really was a lot of work.(I used to help her)Yet...There is a certain satisfaction in doing it yourself.

Pam said...

I love the look of preserves on a kitchen shelf, so tasty too! We have a CWA radio program in S.A that sometimes I stumble across by accident. It opens with their theme song all sung in wobbly contralto voices, not that there's anything wrong with that! For me, the program is all a bit droll - I think anything CWA needs a good dose of chilli pepper. Just sayin'. Keep up the tradition with the preserves though.My mother and mother-in-law were both good at making vast amounts of apricot jam from their backyard fruit trees but it was a lot of work (and sugar!).

Laurie said...

How wonderful. My Mother~in~law recently gave us all her canning stuff. So that is our project for the Summer, assuming we can grow some veggies!
Does the foot bath thing really work? I have to try this. The only good thing I think about night sweats is that it must be getting rid of lots of toxins.
Hugs))

Kathryn Knoll said...

When I was a girl our family always put up food. It was a big deal and a lot of work. It felt so good at the end of the season to go to the basement and see all the beans, peaches, pears,tomatoes, jam and jellies all lined up. We had chickens for eggs and a cow for milk. About 80% or more of our daily food intake was off the land. My mother even made bread several times a week. Those were the good old days. We all need to do a bit of it now to keep our hand in it. There may come a time when this is all that will be available to us, if the earth changes keep disturbing our comfortable way of life. I don't think it will hurt us a bit, either. Doing this made me much more aware of the seasons and the amount of daylight and such. I think I was much more tuned into the way of Mother Nature due to these practices. It may sound old fashion to our younger generations, but it is still useful information and skills to know.

Ruth said...

I think these arts are enjoying a revival in Britain as people get back in touch with what is real. We make all our own jam and marmalade - it's so much nicer than anything you can buy.