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Friday, July 20, 2012

Back to the basics

I will never forget the first time my husband said to me, "We are going to can some green beans tonight."  I was like, "WHAT?"  Well that was 23 years ago.  I had heard of canning and preserving and all that kind of Old lady stuff...BUT... I had never attempted it nor seen it done.

We never grew vegetables or had any kind of garden.  My mom says she possesses a black thumb.  When plants come to her house, it's a death sentence.  A friend of ours, Bro. Rozell, told her that she tortured plants.  Let them almost die and then drown them in water to bring them back only to do the same thing over again.  So the veggies we ate were from the grocery store and I was ok with that.

On July 1, 1989 I married Kenneth D. VanDyke, III (BO).  My life would never be that same.  I was 17 years old (18 in 28 days) and I couldn't do much in the kitchen.  I had to learn everything and thankfully I had and have a very patient husband.  He told me if I could read, I could cook.  I learned, with lots of mishaps that I might share at a later date.

Back to canning, we got a ton of green beans from his dad or the Amish or somebody.  First things first, Pop those beans!!  Now, Bo showed me what to do in our furnace of a kitchen with no air conditioning in the heat of the summer.  I was sweating from parts I didn't know I had...lol  Eventually I went into our little bathroom, filled the tub with cold water and just sat in it...ahhhhhh!!!!  We made memories and we prepared for the winter months.

Canning our beans, gave us something to eat when things got extremely lean in the winter.  You know newlyweds usually don't have much in the finance department, well we were no exception to that rule. So I became thankful for the sacrifice we made that one day, enduring the discomfort of heat, sweat and being tired.

Last night, Bo, Juliana, Kelcie, Jon Jon (nephew), Henry and I, canned tomatoes.  We set up on the back deck and made an assembly line.  My 23 month old grandson, Henry even joined in the fun...bringing us 1 tomato at a time to put in the pot.

Juliana & Jon working the
assembly line

Bo, Juliana & Jon

It's a work in progress

The finished project...It's a great day when everyone seals!!!
Teaching the kids to take fresh veggies and preserve them for the future, is rewarding.  Juliana is getting married in January 2013...she is a step ahead of me.  Because she helped, she gets to take some with her.

We continue to learn, to grow and to make memories no matter what our age.  Let's teach this next generation, the skills of our fathers, mothers, grandparents...Back to the basics.

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