Monday, August 13, 2012

Boysenberry Memories

Yesterday my brother told me that he had picked 4 lbs of boysenberries.  I immediately offered to pay shipping on the jam or jelly or whatever he wanted to do with them.

My parents had boysenberries in their yard - a LOT of boysenberries in their yard.  It seems, looking back, that a good part of our summer was ruled by the boysenberries.  If we weren't watering them, we were picking them.  Yep, that was the extent of it.  Turning on a hose and putting berries into a colander and taking them into the house.

From there, my mother would work her magic.  Those berries became jam and jelly and pie and ice cream topping and sometimes just berries in a bowl with milk.

I hated boysenberries.  All we ever got on our peanut butter sandwiches was miserable homemade jams and jellies.  I used to trade at lunch with whoever had Welch's grape jelly.  We, poor abused children, never got store bought jelly.

My mother also had the audacity to make us take homemade cookies in our school lunches, which I tried to trade for Oreos.  The flip side of this, of course, is that the children with Welch's and Oreos were always more than willing to trade for things made by Mom.

Funny the things that stick with us.  My mother kept her flour and sugar in large square canisters with screw tops in the "back door in the cupboard".  My brother says they were pickle jars but I don't remember that.  I do know that Anchor Hocking makes them now.  I know this because I bought myself some and then, when my daughter said that she wanted canisters like her grandma's, I bought her some.

The "back door in the cupboard"?  I have no idea.  It was the cabinet in the kitchen to the right of the sink against the back wall.  It was hard to get into, unless you were tall which we all were, thank goodness.  The cupboard had two doors and the one furthest away was the "back door".  So, if Ma wanted something from there or is we asked where something was, the answer was sometimes "the back door in the cupboard".  It's where she kept things she didn't use often.

Things she used every day were in the large cupboard (twice the size of the back door cupboard) above the pull out cutting board.  This is where the salt and pepper, butter, mustard and even mayonnaise were kept, on the bottom shelf, handy for sandwich making.  None of us died from the unrefrigerated mayo but I did NOT like the taste and never used it on my sandwiches.  I do keep my butter in my cupboard, above the part of the counter where I make sandwiches, right next to the mustard.

It pleases me to know that Ma's canisters are alive and well in my brother's house, as well as in my memory and my child's memory.


Pamela said...

we had blackberry jam. Plum jam / prune jam. Apple butter.

My neighbor across the street has boysenberries

Sayre said...

My mom still has those canisters in her kitchen! I don't, but then I don't really have anywhere to keep such large things. One day, when I remodel my kitchen, I'd like a place I could keep some!

Karmyn R said...

I've inherited a lot of jars and canisters buying this house. Some of them are so cool and I know they sell for a lot of money at garage sales. (People search for the old style).

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