On Kitchens

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Every fall, after the various harvests came in, Mom and Grandma and Danny and I would bring out the pressure cookers, the juicers, the Ball jars, the funny jar tongs, and pounds and pounds of sugar to do some canning. Grape jelly was my favorite, but we also canned green beans, beats, tomatoes, and pears. Canning days were long and hot, with bushels of grapes to juice and  what seemed like millions of beans to string. Danny and I would spend hours watching the jars waiting to hear the “Pop!” of the lids, telling us they were officially sealed. I remember lying in the middle of Grandma’s kitchen floor, exhausted from the day of measuring sugar and wiping tops of jars.

Grandma’s kitchen was the center of much of my life growing up. It was where my cousin and I first learned to peel potatoes (we made a huge mess), where I learned make deviled eggs and unmold the green jello at Christmas. Grandma’s kitchen was where I learned to sing.

Baby brother Danny with Mom and Grandma in the kitchen.

Baby brother Danny with Mom and Grandma in the kitchen.

So, it’s fitting that now, when I’m searching for a purpose, I end up in the kitchen. There’s always something to learn, some technique or appliance to master, and in the end you get to eat! Nothing’s better.

Over the past few months of substitute teaching and after schooling and life path searching, my time in the kitchen has become more than just a hobby…it’s become a kind of lifeline. I know that despite whatever else is going on in my life, I can be successful there (except for the shortcakes I made last week, those were really terrible).

Now some photos of the past few months of food.

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