These are keepers. The bookshelf is dusted and rearranged. And I could never part with these old friends. The craft book is newer, but hey, it's pretty essential.
This morning I went over to my son-in-law's shop and retrieved jars out of his storage. Mercy! It was as though I were on a rescue mission. Curious. It thought that I'd cashed in the canning ritual. For what, I'm not sure. I guess for simplicity. Or here in California the fruit is so incredibly expensive, and there is no U-pick. I know when we moved down from Oregon in the spring of 1989, I was still reeling from having lost Dad, moving twice by the time summer arrived, and exhausted from starting our business and tending to six kids, the youngest turned two a month after we'd gotten here; canning seemed tortuous. Why bother? Anyways, I moved at least 150 various quarts of stuff from peaches to tomatoes. And I just never started up again, until last year when I made a few experimental batches of jams.
Picking up a jar is real familiar. Hello. Hello. Oh, look at you, yes. You held peaches: Veteran's. Those were to die for, and I went overboard and picked 200 pounds. Even the farmer was impressed. Of course, canning them was a two-day process which involved all of the girls. That was the day that Seth crawled to the park by himself, two blocks and across a busy street. Goddess.
Here it is: #1 batch of apricot jam. Oh does it smell good. A new approach to an old ritual, I am noticing that I am liking this morning of putting things by.
It won't be too long before the blackberries are ready to pick! And the elderberries. Maybe I will go whole hog, and pick peaches!
Swallowtail Butterflies are fresh and new by the first of April. Larabee is a hidden valley created by the Eel River. Perhaps I have lived here since time began, a butterfly in the willows on the banks of a Northern river.