Pull up a chair, get a cup of tea, and enjoy reading the recipes and tidbits of my journey through Life.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Time is an Expensive Commodity

Today I was finishing the chow-chow and my great-aunt Nita, or Ninnie to us, was heavily on my mind.  Every year she and her sister, my great-aunt Marie, would get together and have an all-nighter of making near a hundred jars of chow-chow.  They did this until they were in their 60's, every year without fail, without help. 

That last fact is sad.  I try not to have regrets in my life, and generally do not, but I regret that I under-apprecitated Ninnie while she was alive.  I should have been up all night with them, helping and learning, but instead I was either out with my friends or probably asleep.  I missed out on so much time with her because I always thought there would be time to learn form her.  Well, this October will be the 4th anniversary of her passing through the veil and it is times like these that I really miss her presence.  I am lucky to have some of her stories on cassette that I have transferred over to CD, but I would much rather have the real her for my daughter to know and not a recorded voice and pictures. 

Nothing in life is for sure and time is a very expensive commodity, so please do not spend it willy-nilly.  Even if you hear the same story a hundred times, it is the time together that matters.  Remember also that you are never too young or to old to have an elder show you how to do something.  So many arts are dying off because the younger generation does not appreciate them.  I am lucky enough to still have my Mamaw, Ninnie's other sister, to ask questions of and learn from, but I do not know how much longer that will be.  I pray it is forever, but reality keeps sinking in every time I see her.  I pray that my daughter will learn the skills and arts that I know so they can continue on, but I will record what I can just in case it is her children that wish to learn after my passing.

On a happier, less sappy note :-), here is my Ninnie and Aunt Marie's recipe for Chow-Chow. 

9 cups chopped sweet peppers (can be any combination of colors)
9 1/2 cups chopped green cabbage
4 1/2 cups chopped onions
5 hot peppers
10 tablespoons canning salt
8 tablespoons mustard seeds
4 tablespoons celery seed
1 cup sugar
2 quarts vinegar

Chop sweet peppers, cabbage, onions, and hot peppers in food processor.  Mix well.  Sprinkle salt over vegetables and let sit overnight or at least 8 hours.  Sterilize 10 pint jars.  Drain chow-chow mixture well and add to large saucepan.  Add mustard seeds, celery seed, sugar, and vinegar.  Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.  Pack into jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Put on lids.  Process in a water ban canner for 10 minutes.

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