So, it’s not my fault. Let me just say that. I have been asking Ben to post a blog for FOREVER. But since he is struggling with that (love you anyways dear) I will help him out. I miss the blog, and I miss writing our fun experiences down for literal kicks and giggles.
I was reading the last blog post that was written and it was literally a year ago! Wow! We are terrible bloggers. That fact aside, the post was about learning to can my Nana’s applesauce. I remember being so excited that I learned to can something! But you wouldn’t even guess it, I learned a lot more about canning this year. I found a little hobby that I love doing. Who would have thought I would learn to make jams, jellies, and fruit butters?
I have always thought I was sort-of an old soul. I love old-timey things. Vintage books, antique furniture, old china, and even old recipes that have been passed down through generations (those that were actually written down). Canning and preserving has been my newfound old-timey “thing” that I have so enjoyed. It is a dying skill, but such a useful one.
It all started out with some fresh peaches from my favorite orchard in Ellijay. I went for apples, but I came home with peaches. SO many peaches. And I didn’t know what to do with them, but they were perfect so I didn’t want them to go to waste. Ben suggested I try to make jelly out of them. So I did. And, to my surprise, it worked!
I was hooked. Then, not much later, I got fresh blueberries from my grandparents house on the lake. Have you ever had a fresh blueberry right off the bush? OH MY WORD YALL. Store bought blueberries just don’t do it for me anymore. They taste so bland compared to a fresh picked blueberry. And we had a TON of them. I mean, I had enough to preserve several jars of jelly, make a fresh blueberry pie, and eat handfuls at a time. Also, for all you dog lovers out there, the pups love them too. My dog probably ate a fourth of them over a course of time. He hears “blueberry” and his ears perk up!
Anyway, so there is this restaurant in Chattanooga that I love. It’s called Tupelo Honey Cafe, and they have this blueberry compote that they serve with a biscuit when you sit down to eat. It’s like a jelly, but with whole blueberries still in it. It’s the best. So, I set out to make my own version of it and it turned out just like Tupelo’s. If that had not have gone well and I had wasted my precious blueberries then I would have probably stopped there. But, it is some of my favorite jelly I have ever had so I thought about what else I may be able to make.
Did you guys try the cotton candy grapes that were big this year? I made jelly out of those too. Fall is still my favorite, and I still made applesauce. Then, I learned that you can make apple jelly from the peels and cores of the apples. Made that too. Then apple butter. Then more apple jelly. And I still have apples waiting for me.
I’m serious y’all, I think I got addicted to canning.
I am coming up with ideas about this new hobby of mine. I am learning more and more about preservation and finding out new things to make. I love being able to hand someone a jar of something that I put so much work into and that they can enjoy with family. If you have never canned, but have someone who gives you ANYTHING canned, thank them. It is a lot of work and a lot of careful timing goes into that. It’s definitely canned with love!
Timing. is. everything. I learned that the hard way with one of my batches of apple jelly (it ended up going down the sink because it didn’t set well). Timing. Waiting for the perfect opportunity. Getting upset if you miss it. Thinking of what you could have changed.
Even though I messed up some perfectly good (almost) apple jelly, I am thankful for the time I spent making it. I learned something, and I grew from it. Now I know that making pectin-free apple jelly is not as easy as it sounds. Do y’all ever get like that about other things? You feel like you worked so hard on something, just for it to go to waste? But whether the world sees your efforts or not, remember He does. He teaches you through mistakes. He heals us, picks us up, and even sometimes lets us make a successful batch the next time we try.
Find something you love and do it. Make time for it. Enjoy each experience, even if it is small. You never know what joys will come of it.
Glad to be back!
Galatians 6:9- And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Colossians 3:23-24-Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.