It’s after 10 pm on a Sunday night, and as I’m writing this I’m hearing a “ping, ping” sound coming from the kitchen.

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This sound is very exciting to a canner! This sound means my jars are sealing tight. It’s music to my ears and soon I’ll be putting these beautiful jars on my shelves for the winter, or even a year or two. Did you know that your canned goods can last as long as a couple of years?

I purchased my canning jars years ago for $1 a box at a yard sale, and then the canner for $3 a few years later. Every canning season when I pull these boxes out of my garage, to wash the jars, I can’t help but think of how old they are, and the history behind them. Whose hands handled these jars in the past and what did they can? What is their story? Were the canned goods as loved in their home, as they are in ours?

Although tonight was my first time for canning cherries, my fondest memories go back to over 40 years ago where my mom canned “Bing” cherries. We ate them like candy in our household. They were sweet and we’d have a separate little dish that we’d spit the seeds into. My sisters and I would sit down in one sitting and eat an entire jar.

As my kids were helping me out, and having a great time (splattering cherry juice all over the floor and cupboards), they were experiencing something different than when I was a kid. This last winter I had purchased a “cherry stoner” from a kitchen store up the street. It’s a device used to separate the cherry from its seed. I had never heard of a cherry stoner because my mom canned cherries with the seeds in.

My kids took turns, popping the cherry in and pulling down on the handle. Immediately the seed goes straight down into a dish, and the cherry rolls out into a bowl. They were getting into it. It was so easy!

I scrubbed the kitchen down, floor to cupboards, from splattered juice. I lined up my pretty jars in the window to seal and to cool. Yes, I took a picture, but really I couldn’t help but think of my mom. I know if she could have joined me last night, she would have.

Together we would have enjoyed the sounds of the “pings” coming from the canned jars.

Have you ventured into the canning world, and if so, what’s your favorite food to can?

(Partial reposting from 2 summers ago. Do you recognize my old kitchen?)