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Six Sentence Story: Kettle

an antique typewriter

It's time again for another Six Sentence Story. Each week, Denise posts a prompt word and invites all to compose a story in only six sentences based on the prompt. This week, my inspiration came as I was dealing with the abundance of pears from my tree. The prompt word this week: kettle. Be sure to go to Denise's blog to check out the other entries. I'm always impressed by the talent of the other writers, and by the diversity of stories each word inspires. 

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Standing at the kitchen sink, her sharpest paring knife in hand, and with a bushel box of pears at her side, her thoughts turned to the past: how many years had she been an active participant (let alone captive witness) to the event that was about to unfold yet again? The air was muggy due to the heat of late summer and the big kettle of boiling water on the stove. Though it always seemed like so much work, the act of preparing the fruit, ladling it carefully into the mason jars, wiping the rims clean, putting the lids on, gently tightening the bands, and slowly lowering the bottles into the simmering water was hypnotically relaxing. When the canner was full and boiling water covered all of the jars, she spread a clean kitchen towel on the counter in preparation to receive the bottled fruit. The beep of the timer signaled the process was done, and as she carefully lifted the jars out of the water bath, she smiled as she heard each satisfying "ping" that indicated that another bottle had sealed. Canning was an act of gratitude for the harvest and a connection to generations of women before her, and she was happy to be able to continue the tradition. 


Comments

  1. The pings and the occasional duds have carried on. A SSS that brings back memories.

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  2. That reminds me of canning during harvest time. It was a family activity. Even we children had something to do.

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  3. I've heard tell canning is hard work but my oh, my it, does sound rewarding. Not only for preserving fruit from you own garden (let's include all the fruit trees as part of the garden too, lol) but canning also makes for wonderful gifts. One day I'd like to be able to say I did some canning too :D (along with baking bread from scratch and preparing homemade soups!!)

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    1. Once traveling is safe again, come see me sometime and we can do all those things!

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  4. Great 6! This makes me think of my mom. I don't know if she ever canned pears, but we sure canned about a billion tomatoes!

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    1. Whatever is in excess, gets preserved somehow, right?

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  5. tell me about this 'ping'!
    ( have a memory of a jar mouth plug of greyish-white wax, on top of the fruit, but not of the sound of the process*)

    Quietly and relaxing Six.
    cool

    *memories are, circa, five-years-old hood

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    1. I don't know if there is a 'ping' with the wax. I remember jams sometimes being sealed with wax, but I can't remember if my mom ever used it. The lids that my mom used when I was little, and that are still used today, have their own sealing material around the rim. The 'ping' is the sound of the lid being sucked down, indicating the lid sealed properly. After the jars cool, if the lid isn't concave, the jar needs to go in the fridge and the fruit needs to be eaten soon.

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  6. Mom canned when we lived in the country, but once we could get to a supermarket...that canning kettle hit the road! Good six.

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    1. Canning doesn't make as much sense if you don't have a source of free/inexpensive produce. Thanks.

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  7. Lovely and gentle six in which can feel the pleasure from this traditional skill.

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  8. This was so visual that I felt I was observing, yet you made it even more meaningful by including her meditations during the process. Tradition is a beautiful connection!

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  9. Something i always wanted to learn how to do, but haven't had the time. Maybe someday.

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    1. It always seems like such a big task, but it's satisfying. My offer to Denise stands for you, too! :=)

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  10. Certain memories stay, despite the overload on supermarket shelves we see every week.

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    1. And it's peace of mind, when grocery store shelves run empty, to have home canned goods in kitchen cupboards.

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  11. Wonderful, nostalgic story. Made me feel very comfortable with visions of sitting around the kitchen table eating apple pie with family. Nice six.

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  12. Other than jelly and jam sealed with wax, I didn't learn canning until age 24. My husband taught me as he'd done it for years. My first independent batch of green beans pinged but later the awful scent in the cellar led us to the bad batch. Mystery as to why. After that all was successful. I don't miss canning but I miss Midwestern gardening.

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    1. Some places are easier to garden in than others, that's for sure. :-)

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  13. Yes! You have done a wonderful job commemorating a fall tradition and those who carry it on.

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  14. My great aunt used to can green beans and bread and butter pickles and pickled beets. I am terrified of canning, because I'm sure I'd give everyone botulism or ptomaine or something!

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