This is a nostalgic children's book about mother and daughter getting together for an all-day canning job. This illustrated story shows them working together to make a perfect batch of applesauce. The little girl carefully explains her experiences step by step, as she joins in this grown-up activity.
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Getting food out of a jar is no big puzzle, but how it got there in the first place, all delicious and ready to eat, can be a bit of a mystery. This is a story that shares all of
the excitement felt by a little girl when it is time for canning, as she tells how it feels
to join in this grown-up activity. She carefully explains this experience step by step. The bright and busy kitchen of the author's childhood and one balmy autumn day in
particular come to life again in this charming and instructive story.
Readers will feel
certain that young Marilyn and her mother will be blue-ribbon contenders.
Momma and I worked hard to produce twenty-four quarts of applesauce. It was an all-day job that left us very tired by nightfall. We wore heavy smocks and brightly colored
kerchiefs to keep the applesauce from flying all over us and our better clothes. We wore gym shoes that kept us from skidding on the floor. Canning was very creative work. We loved to do it.
The day before we started, Momma and I picked ripe, red, juicy apples off the trees at the Catholic monastery. Some perfect apples had also fallen on the ground. They had good firm skins without soft spots, and no bugs had dug through. We put them all in a large pan. Momma asked permission from the nuns to use the apples.
"There's no sense in wasting all these apples," Momma said. "The poor people would be glad to have them."
The night before, I laid out necessary supplies for the job. There was an aluminum colander, a plastic measuring cup, a canning funnel, a large strainer, a large pan, and an oven mitt.
"Tie your apron on, please," Momma ordered.
From the kitchen drawer, I got a jarlifter, food tongs, a jar wrench, a vegetable peeler, a long wooden spoon, and a paring knife. I sat a large cooker-canner on the stove. I took a "How-to" canning book from the bookrack and laid it beside the other things. Momma and I were ready for a big day's work.
September was a month for preserving apples. The trees outside were turning golden. Leaves blew gently by the window. Other trees were changing to luscious oranges, and rich purples. Flaming red bushes outside matched our red apples on the sink. It was harvest time.