A Home Canner's Cautionary Tale
In the late 1940s, my parents, who lived in New York City during the winter, began to spend summers in the Champlain Valley. At that time, it was apparently not uncommon for people who had roots elsewhere to be regarded with some suspicion by those whose families had lived here for generations.
Once my mother had her own garden, she grew many of her favorite vegetables -- tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, onions, and zucchini among them. At harvest time, she took great delight in putting up jars and jars of ratatouille for us to enjoy during the winter months. But as much as she loved cooking, my mother would grow impatient as jar after jar had to be dated, labeled, and taken down to the cellar, or frozen, and would sometimes abbreviate the labels and dates. One day, a local lady who sometimes helped my mother in the kitchen, came over to assist in preparations for a dinner party. My mother asked her to get one of those jars out of the freezer, and the next thing my mother heard, after the opening of the freezer door, was Gladys, screaming at the top of her lungs, "RAAAAAAAAAT???????????!!!!!!!!".
It took my mother some time to regain her composure, but not as long as it took Gladys.
Carole Anne Slatkin