When I was making my gift baskets, I somehow managed to pop the seal on one of my jars of canned tomatoes. I stuck the jar in the fridge to use myself, and have been putting the tomatoes in omlettes and other things, and I have decided that I am NEVER using store-bought canned tomatoes again! The taste is so much fresher when I can my own. Huzzah!
I've always been astonished by the sheer number of things my mother and grandmother could do, that my friend's families simply could not! My mother cooked 2 meals a day for us (breakfast was cereal--even my mother didn't want to cook 3 times a day!), sewed, did cross-stitch, made jellies, and decorated our bathroom with lovely stencils. My grandmother ran a farmhouse alone for years, canned, cooked, manatged property, and did gorgeous hardanger needlework.
As a child, I persuaded my mom to teach me to cook and sew, both of which skills I have used constantly (favorite cookbook is the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, circa 1960). I recently made a quilt, and this summer I taught myself how to do home preserves (ironically, I learned this nearly lost art on the internet--aren't modern times wonderful?)
I'd love to connect up with other ladies who preserve some of these wonderful traditions!