23 Jan 2014

JAM JARS MUSIC

 Letter "J"

When I was a little girl, my mother started to make jam usually at the end of the summer. She put it in jars and covered them with cellophane so that no air could get in and spoil the jam. She bought a lot of different fruits and cooked them in big pots in the kitchen and then filled the liquid jam in the jars. She made a lot because it should last over the whole winter months.



When she had finished she carried all the jars to the basement, together with other jars containing vegetables and put them on shelves. In the 1950, there were no refrigerators and vegetables hard to get during winter times. I loved the basement, each apartment owned one, they were divided by wooden pannels which allowed me to peek into the neighbor's cellar to see what they had stocked for the winter. Our cellar also had three big wooden boxes, in one were all the potatoes for the winter, in the other apples and in the third coal for the heating.

I loved the jars because of their different colors and one day I had an excellent idea. I had a little metal flute on which I could play some melodies. So one day when I was looking at the colorful jars I took my flute and pierced a small hole in the cellophane. I loved the sound it made "ping" and each jar had another sound. I continued making music with the jars and made holes in all of them.

When my mother discovered the holes in her precious jars, I couldn't understand why she got so mad and was so angry. After all I hadn't done nothing naughty, only music. She gave me no slap or punished me,  she only asked me why I had made the holes ! I explained about my music and the nice sound the jar made when I pierced a hole, and even wanted her to listen, but strangely she didn't want me to make more holes and told me that now she had to do all this work again. I think I was punished enough when I saw her carrying up the jars three floors, put them in the kitchen and covered them again with cellophane. My poor little heart was full of pity to see my mother running up and down the stairs. She didn't want me to help, as she was convinced that I would drop the precious jars. What I didn't realize at that time was that food was something so important. You couldn't buy whatever you wanted,  like today. Nothing was wasted either, she knew something very well,  what I had never known. Hunger ! It was so shortly after the war, food was something very precious.

Today I wonder  how was it possible that you could keep potatoes and apples for months in your cellar and they didn't rot. Today you keep an apple for a week and it becomes brown and potatoes grow sprouts after two weeks at the latest ! Even the so said "organic" once !

After these first musical experiences I got a real flute for Christmas !



which I still have.

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

19 comments:

Andrew said...

Great hat you still have the flute. So why didn't fruit and vegetables die within a week back then? Fresh when bought?

Linens and Royals said...

A different world, a different life. I love reading your childhood stories. My mother never made jam, never had to stock up for winter. We seemed to live on lamb chops, mashed potatoes and peas. My sisters and me had to shell the peas. Then frozen peas were invented. Bliss.

Loree said...

Yes I remember my mum stocking potatoes for the whole winter and they never seem to go bad. Now they rot in a few weeks.

Cathy Kennedy said...

What a lovely story about jelly jars. My grandma use to make jelly and apple butter, as well she would can all sorts of veggies. I always loved eating these home-made goodies.

I believe our homes are too warm and there is too much light to properly store fruit & veggies for extended periods. Perhaps, if we had dark, cool cellar then we could keep produce longer, too.

Great 'J" post!

Carol L McKenna said...

Fascinating post and so glad you got a flute to play your music ~ thanks, carol

carol, xxx
www.acreativeharbor.com

Judie said...

Our son, Joey, has a "root cellar" outside at his home in Kentucky. You are right about potatoes going bad so quickly these days. I have to keep them in my crisper in the fridge. Also, I played the flute when I was younger. Now I have a recorder. Wonderful post, Gattina!

Mara said...

I remember my grandparents kept carrots in a large barrel with sand. They never rotted. My parents used to keep potatoes all winter and as long as they don't freeze, they will be fine.

Most stuff is kept at too high a temperature I think. Which makes it rot a lot sooner than it would have done before. I guess in my house nothing would rot!!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I remember the cellar full of jars, it always made me feel safe...

Wandering Wren said...

I loved the story of your musical jam jars - have you kept up your musical interests Gattina? Do you still have your flute?
It is a wonderful picture of a different life. If I need something I go to the supermarket less than 2 minutes drive, it is open 24 hours!
A great post to make us reflect on life.
Wren x

Fun60 said...

The innocence of childhood.

Karen S. said...

I just adore flute music, it is so beautiful!

edenhills said...

I just love hearing the stories from your childhood. It's amazing how much more we understand our parents as we get older.

storybeader said...

what a pretty flute. That's nice that you kept it since you were a girl. I had one too, but left it somewhere or gave it to someone... I never canned vegetables by myself, but have helped friends, over the years {:-D

Gattina said...

I am very sorry, but I can't comment on Google+ pages, if there is no direct link to the Blog. Because I don't want to be forced to subscribe to something I don't like.

To Wandering Wren : Impossible to comment on your blog, I always get the Google+ page. Sorry

Melody Harrison said...

I am always a fan of your beautiful stories :)

Hugs to you!

Melody
http://www.domesstique.com/just-right-on-freezing-point/

Splendid Little Stars said...

What a memory!
The jelly jar music shows your creative mind. I believe your mother knew that and honored it even though it made more work for her. She needed to be practical.
The organic potatoes don't have "stuff" on them to stop their sprouting. I think (but don't know) you can keep them in the ground over Winter as long as they are below the frost line.

Sue said...

Such a lovely childhood story. I was thinking about my childhood today, too. Sounds like we both have some good memories there.

=)

Jenny said...

This post filled my heart with joy...

The curiosity of a child and the wisdom, gained from life experience, of a Mother!

Thanks for linking to the letter "J".

A+

Jenny said...

This post filled my heart with joy...

The curiosity of a child and the wisdom, gained from life experience, of a Mother!

Thanks for linking to the letter "J".

A+