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Submitted on
August 30, 2013
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Canning season is that wonderful time of year when you never have a moment to yourself - it's all four in the morning mason jar sterilizing, neighbors making coffee in your kitchen before you're even dressed because they have cabbage, too (or carrots or apples or string beans) and you've invited them over with a truck load because you know extra hands make all the difference.

It's the time of year when the kitchen is never comfortable - if the water's not on to boil, the oven is warming and full of jars, or the space around the table is all buckets and elbows, paring knives, sweaty brows and chatter.

There is never silence - even in that ten minutes of processing time, when everything stops long enough for a hurried dinner, there's the water-bath-bubbling, jar-rattling rumble of the canner, or the joyous gunshot snapping of the lids as each jar seals.

Those days are filled with wood smoke, steam and the smell of apple butter reducing in the large copper kettle that once lived with your great-grandparents on a family farm that's still drowning under twenty feet of water because a dam was built in that valley when your father was half your age.

It is memories.

It is heaven sitting at a picnic table, immersed in joy and tired.

It's knowing you could never bottle enough of this, but at least you will have food to see you through another winter.
Because someone asked me what I meant when I said "canning season." We don't can like this anymore - this is mostly made up of memories of canning while still living with my dad. I'd like to get back to that way of life, though.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-09-25
Canning Season by ejeans7 overwhelms the senses with the best kind of nostalgia: memories, families, friends, food ( Featured by ShadowedAcolyte )
capricecake Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014  Student Writer

thanks for sharing the experience. i've never canned... but i've always sensed it's just as special to those who do as you've described it. :heart:
Hiland-Rose Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
You spoke to my heart with this one.. there's a movement "back to the land"  and it's something I'm working toward to a degree... city life has been my lot, but my heart has always drifted out into the country... this year I had a great garden and canned for the first time.. (mostly store bough fruit)  but I felt that connection to my Grandmother's generation where this was normal.  There is something about reviving old traditions... it's part of our humanity....thank you for sharing this.
PenThatDoesNotWrite Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I swear, I can smell this story. Wonderful work.
JtheQ Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
This reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  I bet you would love it.
The-Dream-Book Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I really enjoy it! Congratulations on the well deserved DD!Clap 
Steve-C2 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
I have to say that this is highly evocative.

I know what "canning season" means, even if I'm not entirely sure when it is.  My grandparents, and my mom, used to can tomatoes.  And, for 3 years now, I've been trying to get a garden in that gives me enough vegetables to can.  So far, it's been a failure for one reason or other.  That said, you've described an ideal situation, one which I'd love to enact (except for the 4am bit, since that is a bit early) at my own residence.

The last line, though, is great.  :D

Slurring Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is lovely. My grandma enlists my mom and me to help her can tomatoes every year for sauce, and there are so many memories that are all coming back now. Thank you for writing this c:
Karinta Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Student General Artist
AGH I knowwwww!! :huggle: My mom cans a whole bunch of jams and jellies and fruits every summer and fall, and this year she canned salsa and apples in addition to everything else.
TheWeeLad Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
the very definition of subtle beauty
KageNoKarasu Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
Ahh, such a sweet memory.
I've canned for the first time evar! this summer and I still have more pickles to do (the cukes just won't stop producing D: )
If all else fails I have plenty of apple jam and cukes to live off of. Lol

That said, I enjoyed this poem and can totally understand it!
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