Just the thought makes me drool. Every year my mom makes her own strawberry jelly. It's usually the hottest day of early summer and we would spend the day pulling stems, washing sinkfuls of berries, slicing, stirring over a very hot stove and pouring the chunky red liquid
into jars. Each year we would munch quite a few strawberries as we worked. Sampling was our only payment for the day's work. (except that we had the best strawberry jelly ever each and every day for the rest of the year!)
We made this year's supply of jelly yesterday. The workers have changed over the years, but the recipe hasn't and the time well spent stays the same. Our own kids have become pickers and samplers. Sisters-in-law have replaced brothers, and I get the opportunity to enjoy the company of some great women that have married into our family. It was noted that yesterday was probably the coolest day ever in the history of making jelly. The cool breezes kept the kitchen comfortable and the kids outside. Every year we miscount on sugar and someone needs to make a grocery run, and this year was no exception. (you don't even want to know how much sugar goes into this jelly...no wonder it's a family favorite!)
I recently heard a friend talk about her mother who is now passed away. She talks about these kind of days spent together, but also how she wishes she had something written in her mother's handwriting. This was the thought that was running through my head yesterday. So I'm on the lookout for something like this:
so we can have her write down the recipe, record our adventures for the day, and pull it out year after year to do all over again. As the berries get more expensive, it's hard to say that we are really saving money in the process, but sometimes, that's not the only reason to pick the strawberries in season, bring them home and make them a part of our family history.