No more CERTO bottles
You can tell ol' Myrt here really IS getting older. Today we decided to make
some homemade jam and pies from the bushel and a half of the early peaches that
Johnny & Barbara brought back from Cordell, Georgia. So I bopped on down to
my local "Wally-World" to get the pectin and discovered several
-- I am glad we have a garage attic full of mason jars since they aren't $1.25 a
dozen anymore. They're more like $7.42 for the box.
-- They do have new water bath canners, but no wire holders to raise and lower
the jars into the hot water, and keep them separate during the boiling stage.
Glad I could find a good one at K-Mart from the Martha Stewart Collection.
-- Martha Stewart did NOT provide any sort of jar lifter to remove the finished
product one jar at a time from the boiling water bath to the towels set to the
far side of the counter. I had to go to Crowder Brothers, the
"old-fashioned, they-have-everything" specialty hardware store. I
couldn't find one like my old wooden handled one, which is packed away
somewhere. Had to settle for a modern heat-resistant plastic-coated steel one.
BUT PERHAPS MY BIGGEST JOLT CAME WHEN I DISCOVERED THAT:
-- CERTO isn't in bottles anymore. You have to use these handy cut-off-the-top
pouches. Remember those old little brown bottles? Remember how you'd look for
the 1/2 empty mark when doing up a batch of jam? Now:
1 pouch = 1/2 bottle of Certo
But while some things have changed drastically, there are still the old
-- Taking a bite of that irresistibly sweet peach you're chopping up for the
-- Carefully stirring the jam mixture until it boils a good solid minute.
-- Keeping the rings and lids in scalding hot water on a back burner of the
-- Pulling each of the now sterilized jars from the boiling water bath and
putting them on the towel covered wood cutting board.
-- Ladling the hot jam through large funnel to keep the sticky stuff from the
top of each jar.
-- Retrieving a lid and a ring from the pot on the back burner, and giving them
a firm twist on each jar.
-- Sometimes the heat of the jam comes through the terry towel you are using to
grip the jar as you twist, particularly as the time wears on and the towel gets
a little wet.
-- Using the jar tongs to lift each back into the water bath canner to go
through another 5 minutes (we're at sea level) of boiling.
-- Running the fan hoping the breeze will cool you down.
-- Moving the jars out on the counter to cool.
-- Listening for the pop of each top, an indication that the seal is set.
My REAL Grandma Myrtle made my favorite apricot "PRESERVES." She took
offense if you called it jam. In Washington state we had apples in the fall;
peaches, apricots and pears in the summer. We'd buy by the bushel-full from
"east of the mountains." The raspberries and blackberries grew wild.
Oh what wonderful "preserves" they would make!
And have you ever had a blackberry pie a la mode? Simply heaven.
During the 1970s, when I was doing the "Back to Eden" thing, I made
bread from scratch, and canned and froze all of these sorts of things available
from the local farm stand. Gosh, my grandkids don't even KNOW what a farm stand
is. Those trendy "farmers' markets" are the closest they've been to
When I was very little, my dad would be working on the boat. I'd make mud pies
right beside him, something the child development specialists now call
"parallel play." But then, it was just hanging out near dad. Anyway,
my ol' "father-dad" would ask me to make him a "FRESH PEACH POT
PIE." First you need a fresh pot... and a fresh knife... and fresh peaches.
The emphasis was on "FRESH," though at 3 years of age I'm sure I
couldn't tell you what "FRESH" meant. And I'd have to use the intercom
between the boat house and the house to ask mom to tell the correct temperature
for "baking." I'd use dad's home-made brick bar-b-que as my pretend
oven, to continue with this playful game. Mom would always say "350 degrees
for 45 minutes." Oh the memories!
Just got back from "Kash 'n' Karry" for more Certo, where the manager
said he provides a value-added "JAM TESTING" service just for ladies
like me. :-)
Happy family tree climbing!
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207