Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Values Passed On

I was born with an old soul.  As a child of ten, I remember listening intently to stories of my grandparents difficult youths being raised during the Great Depression.  I was in awe of all they had endured and admired who they were because, not in spite of these heartaches and hard times.

One of my most powerful memories growing up was not of going to fancy restaurants or wild amusement parks, it is of our annual canning and freezing of vegetables every year.  I know, I know, you are shaking your head and thinking "yea, right!' But I swear, it is the honest to goodness truth.  My aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, and all of us cousins would gather at my grandparents and shuck corn, snap peas and beans, and freeze/can other veggies.  I honestly cannot recall any other vegetables because the corn, beans, and the peas were the only jobs us young'ens were allowed to help with- the rest required knives.  I remember shucking the corn, snapping the green beans, and freeing the snow peas from their pods.  I can recall the earthy, sweet scent of the fresh vegetables, the laughter and the stories from my loved ones, and the sheer satisfaction of being a part of something my grandparents did as children.  (Yes, I was ten.  Yes, I swear I remember having these thoughts. Sadly, I am sure you all agree with my husband now that I must have been a nerd... but I say, I was blessed with a deep rooted knowledge that something priceless was being passed on to me in those precious moments.)

Now, fast forward to present day.  I love going out to my father's garden and picking fresh fruits and vegetables from his garden.  The boys absolutely love it too.  They love that they can get filthy, play with frogs, and even run around during a sunny rain (no lightening!) and get soaked and we as parents smile and let them relish in good old fashioned fun.  They love the freedom and the getting filthy; I love that a part of tradition that dates back to the Great Depression and their great, great grandparents wisdom and traditions live on in our lives.  I love the simplicity. I love the memories being created and the nostalgia of my yesterdays being passed on to yet another generation.  I love watching my my father pass on his wisdom to my children, just as my grandfather had done to me.

I hope to be able to bring a sense of his wisdom and that of my grandparents to your lives as well.  My father is still very much my teacher.  I am still learning how to can vegetables, soups, stews, and tomato sauces and the rules of when to use a water bath versus pressure baths.  As I learn more, I will pass it on to you.  Being able to can fresh foods created from completely non-allergic ingredients has allowed a little bit more convenience and more importantly, I love knowing what we are putting in our children's bodies.  I hope even more than the healthy ingredients you create, you will create powerful memories in your children that will last them and you a lifetime as well.

Homemade spaghetti sauce made with all fresh ingredients.

Beautiful veggies straight from my father's garden.


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