Day 29. Canning. Smells of Autumn.


Smells of autumn.

My sisters and I would dance around in Grandma’s mud room, from where we’d step down into the cold, dark pantry lined with canning jars. We’d play house, act, play and pretend, all in the midst of the wonderful scent of the jars. Have you ever noticed how absolutely yummy a pantry of canning jars smells? Sweet and savory both. And then there was a big bucket of fresh dill ready for Grandma’s canned dill pickles. I’ll never forget that scent.

The memories this time of year.

My sisters and I would tie on Grandma’s apron, while one would wear Grandpa’s knee-high rubber boots, and the other would put on a garden hat. (Win this beautiful apron, here.)

Learning how to can.
My mother taught me.

Teaching others.
Sharing the love.

Canning with my kids.
Finally, they’re appreciating the art.

Canning with my sister.
I wouldn’t trade our time for anything.

Canning with a friend.
The canning in her mother’s kitchen.

Canning to me is more than ‘putting up’ the harvest into beautiful glass canning jars. It’s the art of learning how, and community. The act of sharing in the workload with others, as you work busily with your hands, side by side, sometimes standing in the same space for hours, doing the same thing over and over.

You wash, cook, peel, blanch, chop, … stuff the jars.

You’re hot and sweaty, steamy, dirty, hands parched from water and heat.

You talk, reminisce, laugh, cry.

You clean up.

Canning to me is an aspect of the art of community living; of being together.

Autumn reminds me of this art, year after year.


Do you have canning memories to share, and do they remind you of Autumn?

Want to take a peek at my cute little Grandma? And what’s on my list to can next? Pear Butter! This time I’m trying a new recipe!

Catch up on my first 28 Days, HERE. :)

7 comments on “Day 29. Canning. Smells of Autumn.”

  1. Thanks for this beautiful, memory stirring post. I do have fond memories of watching and helping my Mom can. I was raised in the Pacific Northwest as well and we had every type of fruit and vegetable available in our lovely valley area. People shared their fruit s and vegetables and we were able to resourcefully glean when the commercial fields had been harvested. We did not waste. It was a community endeavor of sorts…. Mom had a sense of fulfillment as the neat rows of home canned items lined her shelves. You mentioned the smells but I was also thinking of the colorful array of jars…very satisfying. Thanks Sandy for stirring these fun memories!

  2. I learned how to do can on my own. My Mom told us recently that she never wanted to do pressure canning in particular, becuz a pressure canner had blown up in their household when she was young and it scared her. This weekend I’m going to try making/canning green tomato ketchup for the first time….

  3. I have so many memories of spending Oregon summers and falls canning with my mom. And yes it was a community thing. My mom would almost always can with friends. We would often pick the fruit together and bring it back to our house or one of her friends houses and do the work together. The kids would peel fruit, snap beans, pit cherries, etc and the moms would do much of the actually canning part, although the older we got the more we helped in the kitchen right next to everyone. I learned so much about work and helping each other during those years. Thanks for sharing this and bringing back the memories for me.

  4. I think it is so cool that you can. I have never, ever done it. It looks like once you got comfortable with the process, it might be relaxing. Having never tried it, it makes me nervous. ;)

  5. I absolutely adore this post, which is so well written, Sandy. Yes, I have wonderful canning memories. Memories made with close friends. My mother is many lovely things, but she is no canner. In the last community I lived in, my friend and I made chow chow and bread & butter pickles and tomato soup together. It was a glorious time with my daughter bouncing around, afraid to come into the kitchen because she was fearful of “Auntie’s” gas stove. A communion of sorts. Thanks for sharing.

  6. My mom never canned so it was something that I learned from friends and did often on my own. I’ve gotten out of it the last few years, but it is something I desire to do more of and even teach my girls.

  7. This is so fun, I can nearly smell those peaches through my computer. I have never really canned much but it’s on my list to do. Love this post, your family is adorable!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *