As a kid I remember my mom doing many things that I thought were very common and normal. My mom would can tomatoes and make jelly and jam and can them. She would come home with loads of apples to make applesauce and freeze. She would make large kettles of homemade chicken noodle and beef barley soup and sell it at the restaurant that we owned. My mom always made sugar cookies to decorate at the holidays and she would make the frosting herself too. (she still makes them for the holidays and brings them down to me for me to decorate with the kids) She would also make every type of pie: raspberry, blueberry, peach, strawberry and pecan pies. My mom did not buy a lot of baked goods but rather she enjoyed making them herself. She did all of this because her mother did. Mom never needs a recipe for most of these items and if she did she would just call her mom and ask.
I left Stanton in 1992 after graduating from high school and went to college. I then moved to metropolitan Detroit where I have been ever since (other than a year stint in Mexico in 2004). People in different areas have different traditions. I am insisting that I bring some Stanton to the city by learning how to make all of the things that mom did and practicing while I can ask questions.
I recently spent the day with my dear aunt, Myrna (mom's sister) canning tomatoes. The beauty of the city is that we were able to take a trip down to the Eastern Market to get all of our spices...and to get several bushels of tomatoes. Myrna lives close so when mom is not available I am to learn and practice with her. We set up her kitchen for a day of cutting, chopping, boiling and sealing. It was so much fun. Myrna is a retired teacher so she is so good at being patient, detailed and letting me do every step so I will know for next time. We ended up getting 25 quarts of tomato sauce and we seasoned half with Italian spices and half with Mexican. I am ready for a full winter of chili, spaghetti, lasagna and whatever else I can put tomato sauce in. A huge thank you to Aunt Myrna for all of the help and a thank you to my mom for a memory that makes me want to continue it.