I sat staring at the blank screen for a few minutes before giving up and collapsing in a pile of tears on my bed. I recognized that I might be blowing this out of proportion, but I still felt like I had lost something important and irretrievable. Was this true? Well, it was certainly true that the post was irretrievably lost, but probably not important. I hadn’t liked it much in the first place. But I couldn’t help feeling that there was something in there that I might miss one day.
This is the same feeling I get when I think about my family’s heirloom foods—even the ones I don’t like very much. I know that I would miss them if they were gone and I know that I have to start now to learn how to make any many of them as I can while my parents are still around and healthy enough to teach me how to make them. (I hate to be morbid, but I know my parents would be the first people to agree with this. My father’s been telling me and my sister that if he has a stroke and drops dead while running when he’s an old man, we should be happy for him.) But back to the issue at hand.
Checklist of Heirloom Foods I Can’t Live Without (in order of importance)
1. Country Ham- I have my Uncle Elwood’s recipe and I’ve spent some time watching my father work through different stages of the curing process. Practical experimentation must be postponed until I have a cool, dry, rodent free environment in which to cure a ham.
2. Pickles- Got it. See The Pickle Project.
3. Apple sauce. Next up. Unless apple season ends before I finish off the pickle project by canning the extra pickles.
4. Grape Jelly. Definitely postponed until next year.
5. Apple Butter. Not that my family ever made this, but we always had a source from friends of a local church. So unless I move back to the South, I’m going to have to tackle this one sometime.
That’s all I can think of right now, but my daughter is sitting next to me repeating the phrase “uh-oh spaghetti-o” over and over so I could be missing something. I will continue to add to this list. And once I finish off the “heirloom foods” (meaning food products you have to grow/pickle/preserve/or otherwise process yourself), I’m going to start on the recipes...