Monday, August 14, 2017

It must be jelly...

...'cause jam don't shake like that!

In the 1940s, the late, great Glenn Miller, and others, recorded a song called "It Must be Jelly 'cause Jam Don't Shake Like That."
I don't know whose recording my father played for me when I was small, but I loved it and would ask him to play it over and over. The lyrics, as I remember them, were:
It must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that
It must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that
Oh, mama, you're so big and fat!

At that time, no one would have considered the lyrics socially unacceptable, and only the chronically overweight would have thought them a slur.
How times have changed, and I'm so glad, because I'm certainly no longer young, nor slim!

When I was three or four years old, I thought 'Must Be Jelly' was wonderful. Other bands and singers recorded it with more lyrics (particularly Woody Herman, whom I considered the height of comedy my in pre-TV days) but I only remember those three lines, and they have stayed in my mind, rightly or wrongly, as Glenn Miller music.
When I became older, and could have my own record-player, Dad insisted I play one Glenn Miller record for every rock'n'roll record. Dad had long realized I couldn't sing (I couldn't even carry a tune in a bucket) so he made it a point to teach me to listen. For that, Daddy Davies, wherever you are, I've been forever grateful.

My father had been a musician and a scenery-painter in the Canadian Army Show during WWII, and was forever teaching me, and my brother Clint, everything he knew (our younger sister made it known that she wasn't particularly interested).
Many years later, when Mom and Dad had a surprise baby, Rob became Dad's best student, soaking up knowledge like a sponge.

Laena McCarthy,
without permission,
but many thanks
One of the things my sister and I learned from Mom, and from our grandmother, was cooking. And something else I saw Nanny do every year was canning.
We had fruit trees in the yard, and any fruit that escaped the three of us and all our friends, was 'canned' or made into jam. Canning, at that time, involved a wood stove, huge pots, boiling water, and hot jars, so it was not considered something to teach children. My young sister, however, absorbed it all, unbeknownst to the rest of us, and years later, when she was married and a mother herself, she took to canning all the produce she grew in her garden. (That blew my mind, to be honest.)

And now, to get to the heart of this blog post: I am old and, having had an often-busy life, I never though to take up canning fruit until this weekend. (Something red, halfway between jam and jelly, lurks in the fridge, on its way to becoming whatever it wants to be.)

Our Nanking Cherries
The reason for this sudden industry: I planted two Nanking Cherry bushes about 15 years ago, and this year we really had a bumper crop. Although I have been known to be a little extravagant over my long lifetime, usually buying rather than making, I suddenly said to my husband, "Let's pick those and then we can can them." The fruit is very small, pretty much miniscule, really, so I have already devoted three days to the chore of removing the itty-bitty pits.

More will be revealed, but right now I'm posting this for Lady Fi's wonderful meme "Our World Tuesday." 

But first, re the jamming — as I said, we have a jar and a half of something red and unrecognizable in the fridge — jam, jelly or ice-cream-sundae topping, we figure. At the very least, I did get myself a long-desired over-the-sink colander.

Only time will tell with the project, so I'll have to get back to you on that.


carol l mckenna said...

Wow! Canning and what a wonderful post with endearing memories ~ I didn't grow up with Glen Miller music but I love it ~ Rock' n Roll is fun ~ ~ thanks, Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

My childhood memories include my Dad playing an old 78 of John McCormick Irish tenor singing. We carry moments of our childhood with us. Glenn Miller was great. Lucky you.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh my, fresh cherries... they'd never get as far as jamming with me!!! Luscious... YAM xx

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You are so ambitious ... I might consider freezing if I had a prolific tree (I " help" our daughter and SIL pick and freeze blueberries which they beg me to take home! ). But my canning days are long over ... used to way back in the day (four growing kids)...that and a big garden. Fun while it lasted, but no desire to return. I enjoyed your family history stories immensely!

Lady Fi said...

Love hearing about your life! And that jam looks delicious.

Mara said...

If nothing else: I WANT ONE OF THOSE COLANDERS!! Anyhoo, I have been known to do a bit of jamming, but I don't eat the stuff. I just like to make it! That colander though...

Cloudia said...

Thank you for sharing yourself

Jenn Jilks said...

Good work!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment about Cinque Terre. since we spent a week in Lucca (Italy) we drove down to CT for one day - much too short! If I would ever go back I like what my friend did - they rented an apartment for a week. they did their walks early in the morning, before all the tourists came, and after they had left:)
Love cherries, only raw:)