Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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Making Old Traditions New Again July 7, 2014

Available July 20. 2014

Available July 20. 2014

With Jessie finally written, edited, formatted, and awaiting launch on July 20, I have started research on my next book in the Seasons of Faith series. A new character began tickling my brain a few weeks ago. He’s a blues singer and I know virtually nothing about blues music so to the library I went.

I didn’t know what exactly to look for, but managed to find a couple of books to get me started. When I was working on Jessie I found simple biographies in the children’s section on Neil Armstrong and Gus Grissom that provided a quick snapshot of information. I found a children’s book on blues and jazz on this trip to the library and again, it gave me a good basic understanding of the roots of both genres and ideas on where to go from there. The next book I started reading was by George Mitchell, Blow my Blues Away. Mitchell’s book is a collection of interviews with African-Americans in the Mississippi Delta region compiled during the 1960s.

I only had time to read one interview before I had to return the book to the library, but I was struck by the discussion of working in the fields, mostly cotton, as well as the home garden, which provided most of the family’s food. As I read, I thought about how the settlers of America had to rely on their home gardens until towns grew and markets could be established. Through the years home gardens continued to fall by the way side and many traditions were lost.

Over the past ten years or so there has been a movement to organic foods and more people are tying to grow their own vegetables. Large cities have started community gardens and those with tiny balconies as well as those with small yards are doing container gardening. Do a search on urban gardening and you will find pages of websites with educational videos and how-to articles.

Papa in the Garden, Summer 1992

Papa in the Garden, Summer 1992

Grandma picking beans, Summer 1992

Grandma picking beans, Summer 1992

 

My grandparents had a garden that grew a bit every year. Even when my grandfather’s health was failing, he still spent time in his garden, perhaps remembering his youth in the fields of North Carolina.I’ve been trying my hand at gardening the past couple of years. I don’t quite have the green thumb by grandparents did, but I am learning.

 

Last weekend I took some of my fresh tomatoes to a friends’ house and taught them how to make and can salsa. It made me feel closer to my roots, sharing an old practice that is being made new again.

Salsa in the making

Salsa in the making

Sharing old traditions

Sharing old traditions

 

Fireworks, Salsa, and Memories July 4, 2012

Filed under: Family,Fresh Foods,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:55 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you all take some time today to reflect on what makes this day so very important in the history of the United States, especially as times are so rapidly changing for us.  There is another reason this day is so important to me though.  Today would have been my grandmother’s 90th birthday.  I have been thinking about Grandma Pearl all week and wish she could have been here over the weekend to help me with my first endeavor at canning on my own.

I have many memories of helping her can preserves, green beans, and tomatoes.  I remember setting up the Coleman stove on the back porch, watching the giant pot boil, peeling the skin off the tomatoes and skimming the froth off the strawberries. Those are memories that I will always treasure.

Since I had so many tomatoes of my own I took 25 of them and made salsa.  I don’t recall the process of peeling and coring tomatoes taking so long or causing back pain when I was kid, but I plunged ahead and found my 25 Roma tomatoes would make about 2 pints of salsa.  It may not sound like much, but split them up into ½ pint jars and I probably have enough to last me the rest of the year.  I can’t wait to crack open a jar at my next social event and share the fruits of my labor.

If you are interested in learning more about canning your own salsa check out this website:

http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

 

 
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