Wednesday, September 8, 2010
A Simple Ladle
I remember harvest time as a child. My mother canned peaches and tomatoes most often. We ate fresh fruit salads. There were rides out to farm stands selling fresh corn on the cob on Sunday afternoons. As a family of five, we could take down two dozen ears in a meal. Back then, they sold for a dollar a dozen. The 24 ears – along with a hamburger patty for my Dad – were the contents of the entire meal that Sunday night. My mother wasn’t a big eater in general, but when we had corn, she could break records.
Just after school started every September, my Mom would can our tomato juice for the whole year. Our house was built in the 1920’s and had a fruit cellar that was perfect for home canned food storage. I would get home from school to see her just wrapping up the post canning clean-up. And, I’d ask why she didn’t do it before school started, so my sisters and I could help! After I canned for the first time I understood why it was no place for young kids.
My Mother did not live long enough to see how she influenced my seasonal food habits or to teach me how to can. Fortunately my aunt, her sister, taught me how to can.
But, I did inherit my Mom's ladle. This ladle was built when kitchen utensils were made to last. It is heavy duty stainless steel with a wood handle. A piece of one of the rivets is missing now, but it still functions perfectly. It pleases me that all of my canned foods are ladled in the jars with her ladle. Just as school was about to start up this year in Michigan, I canned my tomatoes. RIP Mom.