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Canner's Lament 1970

(I found an entry in a childhood journal once about
the woes of being coolie labor for my parents during
canning season. We filled all four shelves with canned
pickles, jams, jellies, tomatoes, what-nots and the freezer.)


Crab apple jelly
nectarine jam
green tomato mincemeat
Italian prune plums purple
16 quarts canned
big boys and early girls all lined up on
a shelf and a half to last the winter
cleaning and dusting the shelf
I got myself quite the nasty splinter

canning is a lot of work
there are so many steps
all of them involve coolie labor
and me ruining my latest pair of Keds

first we have to pick the stuff
then we have to wash it all off
then we have to sanitize the jars
then we have to make some kind of
sweet syrup or salty or seasoned broth

with the fruits you have to dunk em
in hot water and skin em half alive
then you squish em into hot jars
and then you boil them til the lid
pops up like a belching burpy cry

so many fruits and vegetables
lined up like in a general store
the pantry is over-flowing
what do you also need
the freezer over-filled for?

flashing-freezing, pickling, paring,
dicing, sieving, squeezing
our hands are itching, chapped and sore.

you say we're Presbyterians,
then why have we prepared
so much more than what it seems we need...
I'd nearly consider ourselves
another row of tomatoes and
then what
this seems like gluttony and greed

alright then
bring on the corn-husker's lotion
for all of our hands are getting sore
and over-worked and rough.


Back in the days when I helped my Mother can and pickle
and we had two or three gardens plus hauled vegetables we'd
picked from the local truck farm to be canned as well.
Coolie-labor we felt we were.

Copyright January 27 2015 All Rights Are Reserved By This Author
Meloo/Melissa A Howells straight from her Tilt-a-World

No negative connotation meant about preparedness of Mormons. There are
other religious groups which do this. This was merely my childish protestations
and shenanigans to try to get out of doing the work. I am merely quoting myself as a kid.

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