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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

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Archive for December 2nd, 2012

Claire Wolfe

How did Grandma do it?

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Over the weekend I canned eight pints of this and 5-1/2 pints of that. And from start to (endless) cleanup, it took about half the weekend.

The whole time I kept wondering, “How did Grandma do it?”

My grandmother (like yours, most likely) canned hundreds of pints and quarts of … everything. It was part of the routine of feeding an enormous family. And she did it without help. No one but Grandma was allowed in Grandma’s kitchen. (Which was unfortunate, because not only did she work herself to death; her daughters grew up with minimal kitchen skills. But that’s another story.)

I recall one time, after Grandma had been canning all day, my grandfather showed up from work with 100 pounds — 100 pounds — of overripe tomatoes he’d gotten a deal on. Grandma turned right around and canned the whole lot that evening.

I look at my 13-1/2 pathetic pints and am abashed.

Granted I was canning stuff that took a lot of processing and attention. But I also have tools Grandma might not have. (Bless that Victorio sauce maker, that Apple Mate peeler-corer-slicer, and the Santas who put them under my tree.)

I know plenty of modern people can at a Grandma pace. Just this week I read a comment online from a man who said he’d put up 250 quarts of applesauce this fall — making him either a prodigy or a liar in my book. I couldn’t do that if I used every pot in the house, installed an extra stove, and took enough amphetamines to stay up for two weeks running.

How on earth do they do it?

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