Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 317 - Popping Off

Pop  pop  pop that is the sound of the lids popping as they cool from removing them from the boiling water after canning.  My grandmother listened for the popping, my mother listens for the popping of the jars when she makes zuchinni relish and now I listened for the popping.  I'm not sure but I believe I've canned more than my grandmother but I may be wrong.  As we perused the Cracker Barrel store before heading back to the airport, a book on preserves and jams caught my eye.  Big beautiful photos of fruit and just what I like, saving money...40% off!

So I flew home and I went to work.  In the last ten days or so I have made use of quite a bit of fruit that was either given to me or going to go bad.  I've made (pictured from left to right)...zuchinni pickles (bread and butter flavored and my first pickles ever!), pear chocolate jam (better than Nutella!), apple chutney, strawberry jam, cherry jam, apricot glaze (had it over waffles this morning - to die for!), apricot jam, fresh lemonade, and carmelized onions.  Not pictured is the oldest recorded written recipe for Linze Torte from Austria dating back to 1653 using my strawberry jam, another recipe to die for.

I've always wanted to make strawberry lemonade so after making the fresh lemonade served on many southern porches in the south, I heated some strawberries and 3 teaspoons of sugar and drizzled the "cordial" into the lemonade.  See the photo below, I love it.  I'm becoming Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith show.  Steve even suggested that I enter the fair this year!  What was weird was I answered, I was thinking about the blue ribbon so maybe!  I understand the woman of the past to take such pride in cooking that you would scrutinize other jams for having the foam on the top or not having the picture perfect jar.  Perfection in the kitchen was their pride.  Women didn't work much outside of the home if not for need and they were defined for the work done in the home.   And men were the strength and bread winners of the family.

   The irony, bread winners, a term defined in the kitchen but meaning bringing home the dough, the mula, or the money.  Another term of winning at the fair.  So Andy Griffith and Aunt Bee and of course Opie long for the days of old.  Where life was simple and fishing was king.  Where whistling on the way to anywhere put a pep in your step and a smile on a stranger's face.  As I get older I long for those days where peace was joy in baking and seeing others happy to eat your food.  Even if it wasn't worthy of a blue ribbon.
Andy and Opie Taylor
As I look in the mirror these days, I don't see the reflection of how I see myself.  I'm still young inside and the outside betrays my mind.  The covering of my bones is skin of another nature.  If only we were snake-like and shed a new skin.  But for now it is my cage, destined to be with me to the end of time.  Why is it that we long to get older while we're younger and we long for youth as we get older?  I guess we always want what we don't have, a sign of an immature soul.  The ultimate key to happiness is being happy with what we've got.  Success is not always defined as status or money, but there is something I'd be more "happy" with and that is if I'm going to be like Aunt Bee and spend more time in the kitchen, I'd love to have a set of pearls like hers to wear when I am satisfied and hearing the popping of more canning jars. Pop Pop Pop

Clara and Aunt Bee