Jam and Jelly Making

Next week we’re going to make some home canned jams and some desserts using jam, in honor of the season, as well as the Iowa State Fair.
Obviously, jam is wonderful on any good biscuit or homemade bread or rolls. When Myrna and I were kids, we spent plenty of time in the kitchen helping our Mom and Grandma make jams and jellies – apple, cherry, wild plum, gooseberry, grape, strawberry and raspberry, and my two absolute favorites – well, maybe 3 favorites, ground cherry jam, currant jelly and tomato marmalade. We were fortunate to grow up in a farming community where everyone gardened and canned the bounty.
Seems like there was never enough left from last year – but we loved jams and jellies so much, we rarely complained about the work. And there is just something soul-satisfying about lining up those jewel-colored jars. After going through the depression and the “Great War”, no Midwestern housewife like these passed up the opportunity to save every last bit of the goodness from the orchard and garden.
The ladies gathered in the churchyard in the fifties included our Grandmother (left of the lady with the apron) and our great aunt (2nd from left)– it's my former music teacher who forgot to take off her apron before the picture-taking.  Don't they look great in their summer dresses?  I can tell you that these ladies were Blue-ribbon Cooks.

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