As a child Grandma Ida, (born Margaret Jaeger on 1 Jan 1919 in IL and died 15 Apr 1980, Chicago, IL) would make her homemade jellies for the winter. There was always a jar in the fridge and a few more in the pantry. This was a day that would be spent entirely in the kitchen. The boiling of fruits left a more than pleasant aroma. I remember standing on a chair so I was able to look into the colossal pots filled with strawberry’s, plums or whatever other fruit she used. I can still see the way her kitchen was set up and where each of the appliances belonged. I remember this being a day long project with benefits that would last for months to come.
Ida M. Jaeger, digital copy provided by T. Foote ©2010 Terri O’Connell
As an adult, I wish that Grandma had lived well beyond 1980. I was 8 when she passed away and never really learned to make jelly like she did. I can make freezer jelly and that is really quick to make. Nothing like Grandma did when I was a child. No mason jars or wax needed. Just a plastic container that can be stored in the freezer. Luckily, I have an aunt who learned how to do this last summer and I hope I am able to spend a day with her over summer to learn from her.
My favorite jelly that Grandma made was plum. It is not the same as buying a jar of Smuckers or any other brand. I have purchased a few in the past and they never taste the same.