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I’m Just Like Them


As a kid I was told, “You exactly like your {insert female relative}.”  Momma, grandma and great-grandma; I had their mannerisms, speech and tenacity and I avoided this prophecy like the plague.  I didn’t want to be my mom, or grandmother, or great-grandmother.  I wanted to be me.  The more I avoided the more it happened.  I turned out exactly like them…just a me version. 🙂

IMG_3843 momma

All my pictures of Great-grandma are in Pennsylvania…imagine a tall, beautiful spitfire who would tell you like it is.  That was her through and through.  No matter how much I avoided being like them I could help but like ‘me.  At this advanced age I can appreciate who they were much more than I could as a moody teenager.

One thing I distinctly remember about my great-grandma’s basement was the Ball canning jars.  I see them all the time on blogs now but then they were strange.  I never understood canning at home when the grocery store sold perfectly good cans.  Instead I used them to hold things like pencils. 🙂

Lately though, I’ve been bit by the canning bug.  It might have something to do with the crazy American idea to add sugar to EVERYTHING, making it inedible for me.  Or… I could blame it on my friends Chelle and Julie who make all these wonderful goodies that I’ve never seen on a grocery shelf.  Peach Butter and Apricot-Gooseberry Jam, anyone?

I traded Chelle quilting lessons for canning lessons to make my own blueberry jam.  It was so good the last jar (of 7) is in my fridge being finished now. 😀


Saturday I took a road trip to Ithaca with Heather to join Julie, Mae and Emma for some more canning.  If I had been bitten by the canning bug during my time at Chelle’s this trip scratched the itch.  I was going to need some Benadryl quickly.

savvy canning

Then yesterday I found the one thing that turned my canning bug into a full-fledged passion.  IMG_3842While cleaning out my desk drawer I came across the first letter Hunni and I received when we first moved in.  My grandmother sent us a welcome note full of sweet messages and family recipes she hoped we would use in our new marriage and home.  She passed away a few short months after we moved but I felt she was right there as I shed a few tears.

She, just like my great-grandmother, and Momma gave me passion to pursue the things and people I love.  Even if I tried so hard to be nothing like them as a teen, I’m so happy to say I’m just like them.

I promptly went out and bought a ton of canning supplies today and have been putting them to good use.  I recreated some of Julie’s recipes and will be making many, many more.  I hope they are proud of me.

IMG_3839 IMG_3840

More canning fun to come…because I want to be exactly like the women who helped me grow.

Do family memories inspire you to try something new?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. 10/09/2010 2:09 AM

    Aw, sweet post! I hope your mom and grandma reads this. you’ll always be yourself, but those influences from your close ones will always remain in you too. 🙂

    • 10/09/2010 8:10 AM

      I warned my mom not to read it by herself. My grandma passed away a few months after that letter was sent. One of the biggest reason I’m happy to be like her.

  2. Melissa permalink
    10/09/2010 10:22 AM

    I think the only thing I have that I’ve grown enough of to can is hot peppers… I’m considering making/canning hot banana pepper rings. I love the idea of canning but I’m having a terrible time finding recipes for small batch canning. I have no desire to go out and by 8 pounds of whatever.

    I’m terrified of trying to cut recipes in half for fear of botulism or something. I have some (supposed) jam I made last fall that didn’t really gel for me at the time… I should go down the basement and grab a jar and see how it’s doing. If all else fails, it can be used on ice cream or pancakes (so I’ve been told)!

    • 10/09/2010 10:27 AM

      You can totally cut a recipe. I’ve done it and no problem.

      The raspberry, strawberry, lavender jam I made last night isn’t quite jelled but made a great addition to yogurt 🙂


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