Cameras in the Kitchen


Post by community member:

Cameras in the kitchen. Kind of a weird topic, but I must say, it has helped me more than I would think. My memory is getting full (yup, brain limitations) and some things are getting bumped for other things, and dang, I need them all to stay!

This interest started when a little older gentleman, Ray, came to visit my home several years ago and his memory wasn’t so good anymore. He wanted to learn how to can tomatoes. I carefully made sure everything was shown to him. Surprisingly, he took about 60 pictures, step by step by step of absolutely everything so he would remember for himself. Pictures of the water level with the jars in the canner. How full quart jars need to be. Measuring citric acid into the jars with a bit of salt. Picture after picture.

This clicked inside, and I found myself wanting to document more–what my tomatoes look like on the inside, for example.

The unique color inside a black tomato.

How many bowls of raspberries we picked and their beautiful color.

The jars of jam lined up on the table. Quarts and quarts of applesauce. The pot on the stove with lots of different colors of tomatoes. Things that I just want to remember and many things, just for the sake of “seeing” again. I’ve had days where I’ve worked so busily, gotten so tired, and done so much that it became a blur. I couldn’t remember how many jars were done, and it was midnight or later and my eyes would hardly stay open to finish the last batch in the canner. Now, I keep my camera handy to snap a few pictures, then I can look back and smile at my extremely messy kitchen and all those shiny jars.

It really is a rewarding feeling to look at the pictures of fresh, clean jars sitting on the counter waiting to “ping.” We all need to remember the good things we have accomplished and stop to just reflect on all the work we’ve done for our families and, in some ways, for ourselves. That satisfaction when the last apple is out of the box when canning–it can’t be compared to many things!

Some may think it is a bit nuts to take pictures of my work. In my eyes, I want to document my history, and nothing says more than a picture.

Fermenting seeds for seed-saving.

The kids can see these pictures when they are older. Hopefully they’ll then recall how mom and dad would get canning and dad would even sometimes have the canner going in the garage on the camp chef stove. I can only pray that a picture will inspire them to continue on the gift of canning the bounty of the earth. I have faint memories in my mind of watching my mom make jam, cook doughnuts by the dozens, work on garden produce for the freezer…. I wish there had been real pictures rather than just the rusty ones in my head. Hopefully, for my children, memories will stir from the photography how “mom” did it, and how it wasn’t so scary (that’s another story…).

You can also find Moopsee at Yahoo’s Canning2.

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  1. CindyP says:

    Another reason for taking all those pictures! And to be honest, I wish I’d taken some pics last canning season, not just the ones I was creating a post for….

    Great post, Mel!

  2. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Great post, great idea! What few pics I have taken in past years have been very useful – going to take more!


  3. Char says:

    A wonderful idea and great pictures! I will keep my camera handy this year–I know I love to admire all the jars lined up after canning, but I never thought to photograph them. I have to ask about fermenting the seeds for saving….Just planted heirloom tomatoes for the first time this year and am planning to save the seeds. Is fermenting them a crucial step and how do I do it?

  4. Moopsee says:

    I’ll do a post on seed saving soon. Fermenting helps the seeds dissolve their gel and remove possible pathogens around the seeds. They end up cleaner and less disease prone. I now cover them with plastic wrap with a tiny few holes in them so as to decrease the fruit flies! When you get 100 or more cups going, you can grow a LOT of fruit flies! I’m glad you all are enjoying this post.

  5. lward says:

    Words that only a mother can understand.

  6. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Thank you Moopsee! What a good post full of truth and good ideas and fun thoughts. I can so imagine a scrapbook, (not a fancy one necessarily either!) with images of the summer crops, the work, and the results of all that work lined up to admire in the winter. Maybe even a few enlarged shots to hang in the kitchen!

    I’m trying really hard not to cry now thinking of my Mom and all the goodies we canned together lined up on those old steel shelves in the basement. I wish I had a picture of her standing next to all those jars. Get someone to snap some pictures of YOU in there would you? Please? Not to show us, (unless you want to, and we’d love it) but to tuck away for them (and you too), for them to smile and nod about later. People who avoid photos of themselves and say how they hate them, do others a disservice. (sorry, but I’m sad not to have more photos of my Mom)

  7. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    Great post Moopsie! Thanks for sharing!

  8. kellyb says:

    I just got in from picking red raspberries when I checked CiTR. This was the first thing I read. Wonderful idea. I want to go take pictures of my raspberries and the jelly I’ll make from them. We take pictures of special times to create memories. Some of my fondest memories are when I was helping my mom, aunts and grandmother can. I wish I had pictures of those times. This was a great reminder to save the memories. Thank you.

  9. Ebyjo says:

    I used to can years ago, but my daughter and I started canning this year. We have canned about 10 different fruit jams and jellies. We made our own salsa, canned apples from our ever abundant apple tree, and baked more pies, cakes, and breads than one can dream. However, we HAVE been documenting. We take pics to put on another blog… to show others how. We take pics so we remember, and yes we love to hear the little pings of the jars. So does my 16 year old son because he knows that is something else he can gorge on later. 🙂 Thanks for posting!

  10. Laura davis says:

    I know this is an old post but it’s fresh to me! I so enjoyed it,that I just had to say so. I bet your family will enjoy the documentation of memories for years to come.

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