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Literature by jedl93

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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 )
:iconcapricecake:
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:
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:iconhiland-rose:
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.
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:iconpenthatdoesnotwrite:
PenThatDoesNotWrite Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I swear, I can smell this story. Wonderful work.
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:iconjtheq:
JtheQ Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
This reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  I bet you would love it.
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:iconthe-dream-book:
The-Dream-Book Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I really enjoy it! Congratulations on the well deserved DD!Clap 
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:iconsteve-c2:
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

Cheers.
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:iconslurring:
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:
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:iconkarinta:
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.
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:icontheweelad:
TheWeeLad Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
the very definition of subtle beauty
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:iconkagenokarasu:
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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:iconc-a-harland:
C-A-Harland Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Student Writer
You've captured a wonderful sense of nostalgia here. Great work.
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:iconagonizingswordfish:
AgonizingSwordfish Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Congratulations on the DD! :happybounce:
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:iconaristia:
Aristia Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
This is beautiful, it brings back so many memories and you captured it exactly. This especially reminds me of canning peaches and cherries, Freida's kitchen stuffed with chattering women, more sitting in the living room with 12 quart bowls in their laps, pitting cherries as fast as they could. Dish towels under each arm to catch the sweet sticky juice that ran down our arms and soaked the towels.
Funny thing, the men always got scarce around the house during canning season! It's hard work and they knew we'd put 'em to work if they got under foot.
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:iconenigma90210:
Enigma90210 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Professional Photographer
I like it ! Reminds me of last year lol :) 
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:iconbahamutdeusmodus:
BahamutDeusModus Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
I've never lived on a farm or anything per say (at least not very big, though it was kind of one before I was born) but my grandma still cans green beans and a few other things for winter. We just have a small garden; I can't really imagine what it would be like to live like you wrote above, with so much to can and that' it's essential for winter.
By the way, this was written nicely, too. =)
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:iconkenyastarflight:
kenyastarflight Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Ironic that I should find this in the DDs when we've just spent the last two nights canning almost two hundred pounds of pears.  :giggle:

My family has been canning since I was little, and while not all my memories match up to this lovely bit of prose, you hit enough of the points dead-on that this evokes fond memories, both recent and long-past, for me.  I have fond memories of canning everything from applesauce to tomatoes to green beans to chicken (yes, we sometimes even can meat) while talking, singing, or having a movie playing in the background.  Fun times.

Thank you for this thoughtful little piece, and congrats on the DD!  :w00t:
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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
I’m very happy for you!!! :iconloveloveplz: :tighthug:
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:iconapoemhowsweet:
apoemhowsweet Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014   Writer
this is the most cosy and wholesome piece of literature that i've ever loved on here aha. 
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:iconrobson666:
robson666 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist
congrats on the DD
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:iconsmadams:
SMAdams Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
A wonderful little story. Definitely a pleasure to read. :heart: I have never done canning myself, but my grandmother has and I also enjoyed see all the jars in her basement of various goodies.
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:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013   Writer
You should try it! :excited:  There are all sorts of sites out there with easy canning recipes and instructions to get you started. :)  I'd suggest starting out with a few small jars and a small batch of something simple, like applesauce.  It takes time, but it's worth it! (And a little addicting, too!)
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:iconsmadams:
SMAdams Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well, when I have the time, I will think about it. :p
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer

:+fav:

What a wonderful story. I've been in that situation, too, canning tomatoes and their products mainly, but also peaches and jams of all sorts. Congratulations on the DLD "Pick of the Day"! You can't can that either, but it will go in many faves and be preserved that way.

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:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013   Writer
Thanks! ^^; And if you can make jam, you're miles ahead of me in the canning department! ;P I've never had much luck with it - I always wind up with runny, fruity ice cream topping instead. :hmm:
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013   Writer
You're welcome. (I was always a 'helper' when canning - who knows what my own jam would be like!)
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:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013

Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DLD (Daily Literature Deviations) and has been selected as our “Pick of the Day”. It is featured in a news article here: [link] and on our main page.


Keep writing and keep creating.

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:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013   Writer
Oh!  Wow...  Thank you! ^^;
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:iconleyghan:
leyghan Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You paint a vivid picture. This all sounds wonderful to me - the smells and sounds and interactions. I've never had apple butter and now I really want to. :)
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:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013   Writer
You've never had apple butter?! :O   So... No apple butter on warm, buttery biscuits?  Or apple butter on toast?  Or apple butter smothering your pancakes?  Or apple butter with cottage cheese?!  I could not imagine...  We need to fix this. :nod:
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:iconleyghan:
leyghan Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Does this mean you'll be sending me some? How can we make this happen?  Do you have a teleportation device? Like a Portkey or magic cupboard perhaps. Or I suppose the mundane Fedex might do. I have an account. :eager:
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:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013   Writer
The problem would be in the packing...  But it can be done! :D
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:iconleyghan:
leyghan Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Sounds good. :dance:
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:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013   Writer
:dance:
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:iconpokey-bunny:
Pokey-Bunny Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I love this! I help my grandma with canning during the summer. We just sit together stringing beans and getting everything ready and canning. Unfortunately I can't help her with the apple butter because I had to go to uni before she got to that. 
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:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013   Writer
I'm sorry you're missing out on the apple butter. :(  Maybe next year?
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:iconpokey-bunny:
Pokey-Bunny Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Maybe, but my uni starts in august...
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:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013   Writer
Boo. :(  I'm  sorry. :hug:
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:iconpokey-bunny:
Pokey-Bunny Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:hug: Thanks. :)
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:iconfrom-far-away:
From-Far-Away Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
Yup yup, THAT is canning. Been canning to much lately, 28 quart jars of apple juice yesterday, so glad that day is over and glad we have it canned. We started late and ended up finishing it at 15 past 1 am. e.e Reminds me that I need to go to bed soon.
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:iconejeans7:
ejeans7 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013   Writer
Oh my goodness! o-o;  Yeah, I've had a lot of those days, too! ^^; Hang in there, hon! (And get some sleep!) :hug:
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