The Jam and Jelly Lady

  (Lebanon, Ohio)
Yes You Can!
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A Canning Mystery

Brrr!  17 degrees, dark clouds, and frigid winds today!  But I'm nestled happily in my warm cannery, trying to replace some of our depleted inventory from Christmas sales.  Also working on taxes, billing, and organizing the curriculum for upcoming canning classes.  And writing this blog!

After closing the cannery one cold evening in early December, I was turning off our outside Christmas lights when I found a large paper bag on the doorstep.  It contained three large jars of beautifully canned and labeled pickled garlic, marinated brussel sprouts, and a curried chutney!!!  Yummy!  But who could have left them? 

Iniside the bag was holiday picture of a man and woman, and all their horses and dogs, but no note of explanation - who sent it, why, and the like.  Who was this woman?  I way dying to take this motherload of delicious goodies to my in-laws' Christmas party. We are exceptional foodies, and everyone there would love to try these to-die-for delicacies! 

But I stopped - would it be responsible to expose my loved ones to canning from a lady I didn't know?  Did this person even KNOW how to can?  But wait - would not this lady be a canning student I didn't recognize?  Surely it wasn't a mistake for me to receive these luscious goodies?  Who else on this road would covet pickled garlic?  I was so frenzied with curiousity and drooling with anticipation of trying the goods, I sort of lost my perspective on things.  A bit.

According to the Christmas picture, the woman's last name was McAdams.  I really didn't remember her face!  I couldn't find her name in my "guestbook" of students.  

Aha!  Do the techie thing!  Google her!  I found that she lives in a lovely neighborhood in Cincinnati.  She had been president of the our local animal shelter.  But that info was STILL not ringing a bell!  I have a neighbor who has worked for the shelter for decades - perhaps the preserves were meant for her instead of me??  Arrgh!  I just had to let the matter go - we had a mountain of order to make and ship!

A few days after Christmas, I was staring at the Christmas picture of the sweet-looking lady again, picking my pre-Alzheimer's brain for a clue!  In frustration, I tossed the picture on my desk, and it flipped over.  On the BACK of the card the HUSBAND had scrawled a thank-you note for teaching HIM how to can and creating a new family tradition!  I'd focused so long and hard on the wife, I'd never glanced at Pete, one of only four men who'd taken canning lessons this year! 

Oh, thank you, thank you, Pete, for the precious luxuries!  It will be hard to ration these!  And thanks for the lesson: I should be so much more careful of my presumptions!  New Year's resolution #489: Think with my brain and not my STOMACH!

Peace and Prosperity in the New Year - The Jam and Jelly Lady - Sonya


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