A few days ago our daughter arrived with three of her four children for a brief visit. The challenges of a busy active family has not made such a visit possible in the summer for a number of years, but they managed to tuck this one into a full summer schedule. There were multiple purposes, but a primary one was for me to share with my 14 and 16 year-old granddaughters how to can peaches (also review it for my daughter). A second key purpose was for our 12 year-old grandson to be able to spend time with my husband practicing shooting his .22 rifle and throwing a hatchet in preparation for competition at a Brigade camp in a few weeks.
This year Ohio has had perfect weather for peach trees to produce an abundant harvest of delicious juicy peaches. Since it has been a few years since weather conditions were just right, I was certain I could get peaches for the task. The challenge would be to find the cling-free peaches I would need that hit the exact ripeness needed for the day we scheduled to do the job.
Several Amish ladies at our local orchard helped me select the very best ones and a few days ago we enjoyed this special memory-making time. It reminded me of another day a few years ago when my daughter-in-law invited me to teach her the same skill with a bit of help from her daughter (our oldest granddaughter).
Growing up on our family farm in Ohio meant I experienced a very busy summer each year. My father’s garden was full of an abundant assortment of vegetables and fruit. There were berry bushes and fruit trees as well. Whether the task was freezing, canning, jelly-making, or pickling, I was taught all of them and worked alongside my mother as an apprentice of sorts from June through September.
I am not sure I would have counted it a gift then. It was all a part of our life and the life of all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. As a new wife and mother, I continued some of those traditions for a number of years. Then when I started teaching full-time and our children had busier schedules, I set it all aside. My parents lived just two miles away and they blessed us with some of these gifts of preserved fruits and vegetables for some years also.
Peach season was a favorite one of mine back then. My mother never looked at the task of canning several bushels of peaches as a burden, but much like the Proverbs 31 woman she saw it as a way to provide healthy food for her family. I recall so well watching my mother do all the peeling of the peaches. Her hands soon dripped with juice as she laughingly told me that she had to eat any bruised spots and often offered one to me.
As I set about canning peaches a few days ago, I needed to brush off my dusty memories of some of the specifics. (My daughter who had helped me years ago did so as well.) My two granddaughters had no idea what to expect, but as we got into the project each watched with a keen set of eyes and joined in with the various steps involved.
By the end of the process, they admired the peaches arranged row-by-row in the glass jars as they enjoyed how they helped make the end product happen.
As they traveled home and talked about the time, my granddaughters expressed surprise at how relational the whole process was (unlike many kitchen duties). Helping each other at each step, laughing and chatting about the task and other odds and ends made the work at hand go faster.
How often we rush about looking for the quickest and fastest way to prepare and serve up food for our families much of the time! It can even be hard to have everyone home to eat dinner together many days. Days when canning were a common part of life were busy, but they also bonded the women together that shared in the experience.
The end result? They had not only beautiful jars of peaches on their shelves, but also a rich relational heritage.
My granddaughters joined that legacy a few days ago and I have no doubt they will smile when they open the first jar of peaches later this winter they helped to can. I am also sure that my mother would smile broadly as well to know the heritage she gave me has passed to two more generations beyond me.
23 thoughts on “Relational Legacy”
I loved this! What great memories for your family! I remember helping my grandparents with all the farm produce. We didn’t have peaches, but we had grapes, apples and strawberries every year! They were mountain grown and the best EVER!!! Thank you for taking me back memory lane!
Absolutely, Leslie! I am sure the grapes, apples, and strawberries were the sweetest ever from your grandparents!!🍎
I so agree the weather here in Illinois is lovely as well. Sounds like you are creating an amazing tradition with your family. Memories are so very special to make when you can. Good for you
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This is really good of you.Your daughter and grandchildren are blessed . I am also learning to know how to preserve when there’s plenty.God bless you.
Thanks so much, Stella! I hope you enjoy what you learn.
Yes,I really enjoyed.Thanks.
What a special gift of time you gave your granddaughters. I still remember picking green beans with my grandma.
Sweet memory!! Thanks!!
Yummy. 🙂 What sweet memories were made…and, heritage passed along. Thanks for sharing, Pam. 🙂
Truly, Brenda! Sweet on many levels!!🌹
Loved reading this story. Found you on the Homestead Hop. I’ve never canned a thing and wish I had learned that. What a great time with your family and what a heritage, just like you said.
So glad you stopped by, Cindy! It was a good time for me to remind myself how to do it! I had not done it since our own children were younger and I look forward to the jars I kept being opened this winter when I won’t see any fresh peaches in the grocery stores of Ohio😎
What a great time with your grandchildren, Pam! Such a wonderful way to pass on your love of canning and get to make forever memories with your grands.
It was quite a treat since they live 350 miles away and their visits here don’t happen often. Not sure I really “love” canning, but I don’t hate it and definitely LOVE the results. Additionally, the price for the peaches from the orchard made this an especially good buy and the peaches will be cheaper than anything we could buy “canned” in the grocery store this winter.
We had a wonderful time with you Mom! Thanks for making time for us… oh, and thanks for helping us can those peaches as well! Love you much!
So loved having you all here! Glad you were able to squeeze in the time in this busy summer. Eager to see how the kids like the peaches this winter!😊
What a sweet memory and tradition to pass on, Pam! I love when recipes and friends combine to make cooking time for relating too.
So true! I couldn’t agree more!!
Those peaches remind me of my great-grandma. We had wonderful times prepping food together too. I’m glad you and your family are building those memories, Pam!
Precious memory, Sarah! Thanks!!