Providence Corner Blog
The Leaning Tower of Peaches on Providence Rd
Two black women, both from Elizabeth City NC, both related to me either directly or by marriage, influenced me in my canning journey, aka making preserves. One lady was a maternal aunt, Elsie Burke. Aunt Elsie was one of my mother's six sisters. She grew lots of veggies in her very large garden. What she didn't give away or freeze, she canned. As a young teen, I was privileged to watch her make amazing pickles, vegetables and fruit preserves but never allowed to assist. Today I make a sweet & spicy pickle in her honor. This pickle is only given to first cousins who can appreciate the story behind the pickles. Aunt Elsie was probably more spicy than sweet! All of my cousins and much of ECity can attest to that. The other lady was my mother-in-love Erma Roberts. Ma Roberts was also a canner. She made excellent Bread & Butter Pickles. Unlike Aunt Elsie, she allowed me to not only watch her but assist too. After I retired, Ma Roberts would assist me with making preserves. I could always count on her to help me prep for WHATEVER I was planning to can. I remember one summer day, I think in 2010, while we were peeling apples, our bowl of fruit slid across the table. We later learned it had been an earthquake. She and I decided a good name for that batch of cooked apples should be called "Earthquake Applesauce". It was some of the best applesauce I had ever made!
Both of these ladies loved the idea of me making preserves. They saw my canning as preserving a lost artform that they enjoyed doing. Aunt Elsie transitioned from this life in December 2010. My mother-in-love has now started her transitioning. I will always treasure their gift of preserving they imparted to me.
I believe there is something very special about making