Saturday, July 29, 2017


I actually wish I knew how to can things.

My mother was a terrible cook but she was the queen of canning! She canned everything from beans to berries and made jelly and jam and canned that. I can still taste her canned tomatoes even though she never learned to make tomato sauce. Those canned tomatoes in Bern's hand would make a sauce worth kissing your fingers for.

All the fresh stuff this time of year reminds me of what a steamy mess our kitchen would be in late summer. My dad had a really huge garden above my Grandmaw Jones' house when I was growing up and a good sized one after I left for school and my parents moved to Princeton. A lot of folks in southern West Virginia had vegetables and a lot of those people canned stuff.

In my family nobody brought wine as a gift on a visit--the Jones' were mostly Pilgrim Holiness tee-totalers (except for Aunt Georgia, who liked a drink) and the Bradley's never bothered with beer or wine--straight to the hard stuff for them. But when people visited they would bring canned stuff as a gift.

We always had a whole cabinet full of the stuff Mom canned and people gave us. All winter we ate like it was August or September and the vines were full.

When I'm buying something canned in the store, I look to find it in glass not metal. I think stuff canned in glass is just so much better. Maybe that's because I grew up around so many Bell Jars....

(Once, when I was a teen, I ate a peach out of the bottom of a Bell Jar full of moonshine. I couldn't see straight for two days. Jars are good for lots of things....)

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.