Canning…memories of hot summer days spent in the kitchen and over the stove.  Tomatoes, peaches, strawberries, cucumbers, green beans, apples, plums, apricots; jams and jellies, pickles and taco sauce, pie filling and canned fruit.  It was hot (did I say that already?); the window AC in the other room never quite reached very well into the kitchen, so fans were brought the the rescue.  Floor fans, ceiling fan, box fans, mom’s little, old, metal green fan that could chop some curious little kid’s fingers…

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Table cloths and paring knives, pots and a canner full of boiling water, aprons and measuring cups.  It was work, but, oh, that still-warm jelly on a piece of bread, those tomatoes in that winter’s chili, that fruit year-round on ice cream in cereal, in pies and fruit crisps…just believe me when I say it was all worth it.  At the end of a hard afternoon of canning, all those jars were lined up on the counter, and we waited.  *pop*  “Oh!  It’s museek to my ears!” says mom.  You see, if the jars didn’t seal with their little pop, then all our work would have been in vain, and we would a.) have to redo all the work or b.) devour all the yummyness before it spoiled.  Usually the mother of the house chose a.).

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Now I have moved out, so what do I do?  I buy bunches of fruit and head back “home” to the farm house to voluntarily sweat over the stove.  (Thankfully, the parents have added forced air, so we don’t have to rely on those fans quite so much.)

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At the end of the cutting and washing and mashing and stirring and filling, those little beautiful jars of strawberry    jam and syrup sat on that old towel on the counter.  I waited; I hoped; I prayed, and pretty soon, *pop*.  And I thought “Museek to my ears!”  (And then mom said it out loud for me.)

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