Paper type: Essay Pages: 4 (993 words)
I started keeping my family tradition of canning alive last summer. My family has canned for years and there is nothing better than opening up something I have canned on my own and thinking of the people who shared this tradition with me. Traditions are very important to keep going in families around the world. Traditions are very broad anything from what people do on holidays to cooking. My family tradition is very important to me.
I knew last year that if I didn’t learn some of my family’s secret recipes while my grandmother and mom are still with us than there would be a chance that my family would never be able to taste the wonderful flavors my family has put together over the years and my family has looked so forward to the taste that we have grown to love.
Before I begin canning, I must gather all the materials that I need to get started. The first step is the selection of the tomatoes.
I pick all of my tomatoes from my own garden they are so much better than anything from the grocery store.
Last year I used better boy tomatoes and roma tomatoes. The roma tomatoes are great to use because they have fewer seeds, thicker, meatier walls and less water. And that means thicker sauce in less cooking time! Also, I don’t want mushy, bruised or rotten tomatoes. Next I remove the tomato skins this is very important. Nothing worse than eating spaghetti and having to chew on a piece of skin left behind. Here’s a trick my grandma taught me: put the tomatoes, a few at a time in a large pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute. Then I plunge them into a waiting bowl of ice water.
This makes the skins slide right off of the tomatoes. If the skins are left on then they become tough and chewy in the sauce, not very pleasant. Now I must remove the seeds and water. After peeling the skins off the tomatoes, I cut the tomatoes in half. I remove the seeds and excess water. I call it the squeeze of the seeds. It is just like it sounds: wash hands then squeeze each tomato and I use my thumb or a spoon to scoop and shake out most of the seeds. I do leave some of the seeds because that is my preference. I toss the squeezed tomatoes into a colander or drainer while I work on the others.
By draining the water off now, I end up with a thicker spaghetti sauce in less cooking time. The next step I must do is to get the lids and jars sanitized. The dishwasher is fine for the jars, especially if it has a “sanitize” cycle. I get that going while I’m preparing everything else, so it’s done by the time I’m ready to fill the jars. While the jars and lids are being sanitized I begin getting that spaghetti sauce going. I take my onions, garlic, basil, oregano, bay leaves, green peppers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and my burgundy and place them all in the pot first.
After I get the onions and pepper a little tender I add all the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook down the tomatoes until the sauce is my desired thickness. I usually let my sauce cook for about two hours. The last step I call canning time. While my sauce is simmering I get my water bath canner ready. I go ahead and feel the water up and get it boiling. I start a small pot of water boiling to put the lids in so that the lids can sanitize and helps the lids seal. When the sauce is ready I place the jar funnel on the jar and I fill them to within ?
inch of the top and set the lid and hand ’tighten the ring on. I place the jars in the water bath and cook for about 20mins. I then use the jar grabber and pull the jars out one at a time and let them cool draft-free place. Once the jars are cool, I check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. I press down in the center gently with my finger. If it pops up and down then it is not sealed. If it don’t seal than I just replace the lid and do the canning time again. Now that all the steps are complete, I listen to all the little pings going on telling me that my hard work has paid off.
I am so glad that I have learned the family tradition of canning. My grandmother has gotten older and doesn’t can anymore. Out of all my family it is just my mom, Aunt Susan, and myself left doing the canning. It was a nice reward to my sole a few weeks ago when I had my grandmother over for dinner. I had canned some beets and decided that was the day to open them. When my grandmother tried them she said, “These taste just like mine. ” To hear her say that meant so much to me. I couldn’t image not having the taste of what I grew up with because they don’t sell it in the grocery store.
This is why I am keeping my family tradition going and teaching my girls. We never know when our love ones are not going to be here anymore. If I can’t have my family with me I at least want to be able to remember them by creating what they have thought me. If people have something in their family that is done by others and would not want to miss it after that person is gone than learn how that special someone does it. I did that’s why I will always have that special connection with canning and my family.
Cite this page
Keeping the Family Tradition Alive. (2017, Mar 25). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/keeping-the-family-tradition-alive-essay