Some of my most treasured childhood memories come straight out of the kitchen. My mother, sister, and I cooking or baking for some holiday or special event, my father looking on, laughing as his girls lovingly bickered and giggled. Throughout the summer, my mother was constantly preserving food. Peeling and canning whole vegetables, cooking down batches of peppers and tomatoes into salsa, spicing fruit and mashing up the most delicious sauces and fruit butters, and of course the delectable jams and jellies.
My favorite treat during this season-long process was easily the delectable foam that we skimmed off of the top of a big pot of stewing jam. Raspberries created the most foam for some reason, and easily were the best tasting berries. Not ideal to be included in canning, my mother would collect this very top layer of her simmering concoction and would ladle it carefully into a bowl. It would sit there on the counter, cooling, my young eyes staring at the steaming goodness, licking my lips in eager anticipation.
When it had reached an edible temperature, and when my mother had decided that our patience had been tested quite enough, we would smear this frothy foam onto a slice of buttered toast, the combination of sweet fluff and salty butter making for the most tantalizing of flavors. Mmm… The tastes, the memories of childhood summers past.
There is a photo in an old album of me and my mother. Standing on my tiptoes on a wooden chair, I reached down into the huge cauldron of simmering berries, a huge smile on my 3 year old face, stained red with juice. A apron tied around my chest hung low over my feet, my small body smothered in the protective garment. One of my favorite photos, it always reminds me of the happy summer days we spent in that kitchen, of the way my mom showed her love by passing on these useful lessons through time spent together I will forever cherish and hope to share someday with my own children.
This blog post is part of the Writing Prompt Wednesday challenge issued by Confessions of a Broccoli Addict. Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem that features fruit. Maybe the scent evokes memories for one of the characters. Play around with the idea and see what you come up with.