Wednesday I canned green beans. Isn't it amazing that just two plastic bags from Kroger full of string beans makes 8 quarts of beans I canned and still there is enough for supper tonight? I love canning. It is hard because I am working full time, but it is one of my favorite things to do.
Two weeks ago my Mom, Dad, #1 daughter, #1 son and I did 15 dozen ears of corn. That isn't that much when you realize that we usually do 30 dozen. I have a friend who always gives us great corn and we love it. We shuck it, use the turkey fryer to parboil it, and then plunge it in ice cold water in a cooler to cool the ears down. Then we take it out, cut and scrape it off the cob and bag it. We have fresh, frozen corn for months.
I am proud of the fact that of my farming grandparent's grandchildren (there were 9 in all) I am the only one that has kept canning alive. Some of my greatest memories are of us all gathering out at the farm and doing corn for 2 days. We kids would sneek some of the cut corn in our mouths, we would all shuck the ears and then we would go play by the pond or in the barn. We also would gather to dig up potatoes. I only remember doing that once or twice.
But the best thing was the sugar cane. My grandfather would grow it and my grandmother would "raise cane" because she always thought he grew too much. :) Any hoo, we would strip the cane of it's leaves, press it through and the juice would come out. Then we would cook the juice until it thickened and it made the best molasses ever. It happened in October and was the best time ever! I don't have enough land to raise cane, but my husband and I have a nice small garden where peppers, cukes, beans and 'maters rule. Now if only the weather would cooperate and dry out. I need the sun to poke it's hot head out from behind all these gray clouds and warm the earth and turn my 'maters. I have a lot of green ones, but they don't make for good juice and chili. We aren't a green 'mater family!
Farming is a noble and dying heritage. I love my heritage and love the little portion that I keep alive in gardening and canning and sharing with others.