Market Finds

Market Finds
Farmer's Market Bounty

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Can Can Girls

The Can Can Girls: Brenda, Nancy, Renee, Jennifer, Lea and Mallory
The iconic glass Ball jar is a staple in many kitchens.  Some use them for drink ware, others use them for their intended purpose of preserving seasonal bounty.  Fortunately for me, I grew up in a family that practiced the latter.  Both of my grandmother's kitchen cupboards were always stocked with delicious pickles and jellies.  I have fond memories of driving to Gaffney, South Carolina with my paternal grandmother to buy bushels of fresh peaches for her famous peach jelly.  Equally as memorable, was the cut glass pickle tray, overflowing with bread and butter and okra pickles, that adorned my maternal grandmother's dining table.  While I always thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of my grandmother's labors, sadly, I never paid much attention as to how these sweet and savor delicacies were made.  My eyes were always firmly gazed on the end product. As my grandmother's aged, the cupboards grew bare of these jarred treats that I was so fortunate to enjoy for the majority of my life.  It was indeed a sad day, one that I remember well, when I opened my last jar of peach jelly.  Years have passed and I still yearn for some of my grandmother's jellies and pickles.  I was resigned to the fact, that the gentle pop of of opening a Ball jar would have remain a happy memory.  But as we all know, the world works in mysterious ways, and about three years ago, I received a gift of home made jam.  This small gesture, set me on a path to become part of a group that is preserving the past, in a thoroughly modern way.

The lovely ladies pictured above have all been canning together for quite awhile before I joined the group last year.  Thus far, I have canned pickles, tomatoes, onion marmalade, and just this past weekend, chow chow and strawberry jam.  These "Canning Summits" are quite an undertaking, as canning on such a large scale, requires lots of produce, jars and canners, along with nimble fingers to chop, stir, fill, wipe and seal.  We all have a job assignment and work as a team, while the sounds of 80's songs and burbling pots provide the perfect background music.  After a long morning of work, we sit down to lunch.  This has become and event in and of itself.  We are a group of passionate cooks, bakers and wine connoisseurs, and our afternoon meal is a genuine reflection of all of our collective talents.  

With full bellies, we tackle the afternoon's task of filling and processing the remaining jars.  Clean up, labeling and distribution cap off an exhausting, yet satisfying day of work and sisterhood.  I covet my beautiful Ball jars, filled with good things that I helped to make.  I know that these jars are just as precious to me,  as those my grandmother's used to share with me.  I feel honored to be able to spend the occasional Sunday afternoon with a group of women who's talents are great and who's passion for food and tradition equal my own.

Adorable labels designed by Jennifer

Perfectly hand chopped veggies, cooking down for the chow chow.  Thanks to Brenda, Mallory and Renee for  sacrificing some of their Saturday morning for prep.
Chow Chow jars are filled and ready for processing
The strawberries must be stirred constantly 

We know this is good, because we could not resist sneaking a taste 

Lunch! Photo courtsey of Jennifer

Action Shot of me at the lid station

No comments:

Post a Comment