It’s that time of year again when this woman’s thoughts turn to preserves. The seeds of those thoughts are genetic, from a long line of women food preservers from the coast of Newfoundland. In the late summer, when berries and other food items were at their prime, genes nudged the women into picking and preserving.
I remember the bottles of preserves my family and friends had stored for the winter when fresh fruit was impossible to buy due to lack of availability and money. There is a part of my genetic core which delights in these stacks of preserves. The gene makes it possible to enjoy the process and look forward to it every year.
This year, I made the supply of pickles, twenty-five bottles, for the coming year. I love them, while my husband is a food purist and eats few condiments, especially pickles. These zucchini mustard pickles go well with anything.
After our annual trip to the apple orchard, I made apple sauce for the kids. They enjoy Nan’s apple sauce and can devour a bottle at one sitting. Now a third apple sauce monster means I made extra this year. Fifteen bottles will last them a few weeks.
The orchard also sells plums and they make delicious jam. In the recipe I use, plums are boiled at least four times over two days and make especially good jam. My husband and I are not particularly fond of jam but the kids love it, so they benefit again.
It appears the gene has been passed along to the next generations too. Our daughter made plum jam with the help of the girls. They too loved the process and enjoy a spoonful stirred into porridge or on toast. Owen looked on in wonder, enjoying the occasional piece of plum which came his way. The future looks bright for preserving in this family.
My job here is done!