This has been a big year of firsts for me! They mostly come in the domestic area of my life. (I am not sure there is another area, though. )
Growing up with 9 siblings, we were always busy with something. The something was mostly always a regular part of coming or going and daily life. Occasionally, and I don't know why she would give herself the extra work, Mom would decide it was canning day. I remember we bottled cherries, bread and butter pickles, and peaches. There could have been something else, but these are the things I remember eating out of jars. Each time, it was a huge process. We started in the morning and didn't finish until evening when the entire counter would be lined with hot jars of yumminess. We would be tired, but it had been a day of great teamwork and industry.
Jump back to now. I knew that with our great, new yard, my work would be cut out for me. We juiced and froze every drop of juice off of every citrus tree (thanks to Papa for picking them all and helping me!). I anxiously anticipated using every last juicy plump boysenberry. I have made freezer jam plenty of times, but now, my freezer space is limited. Best option: cooked jam in jars that would have to have the lids sealed. It's ok, laugh. For me, this was a daunting task. I have never sealed a jar lid myself and I still had in mind the all day process.
With the companionship of my trusty ipod and L's trusty dock, I dove in. As of now, I have bottled 8 pints of boysenberry, 21 pints of fig, and 5 pints of apricot. I did it! They look beautiful and taste amazing. Better yet, I felt so good doing something I know my mom and grandmothers and their moms and their moms have all done. The surprising part for me is that each one only took up to a couple of hours, if that. The big difference was that I had not purchased boxes and boxes of fruit, but just used what was picked and ripe... a bonus: free fruit!
Last night, a friend called and said she had apples for me from her tree and that they made great jelly! One of R's favorites! I guess that will be my next bottling venture.