In the Midwest, and certainly other parts of the country, the end of summer marks canning season at it’s height. This is when the air smells of ripe tomatoes being “put up”, jars of preserves and jams lining the kitchen counter like a glass army of winter provisions… cabinets and cellars receive the summer’s bounty before colder temperatures bring the first frost.
Canning may be a lost art form in other parts of the country, but if you’re near an agricultural area you are very familiar with the process.
My step-dad & I used to do this as a two man operation… It was a bit of an elaborate set-up. There were two stoves working simultaneously, I was at one cooking the fruit and he was at the other sterilizing jars.
We’d meet at the halfway point for the hand off:
He’d sterilize the jars, bring them to me piping hot, I’d fill them and put the lids on then take them back out to him to process and seal. We ran our operation like a well-oiled machine (he IS German, so there’s really no other acceptable way).
Bread and butter pickles have always been my favorite. They are sweet and yet have a little bite from the vinegar and they remind me of my Grandfather, they were his favorite too. I sometimes feel obligated to “Chef” it up a bit, but at the end of the day I’m just a girl from Ohio and the simple, familiar things are what I crave.