in the back yard, surrounded by honeysuckle.
Talk about wonderful smells!
To this day, a whiff of either fragrance instantly conjures up fond memories
and transports me back in time to their ivy covered home on Alden Avenue.
Grandma O'Neil would make the most delicious grape-walnut jam.
I LOVED it!
It was my very most favorite thing to have for breakfast on toast or biscuits.
Shortly after Grandma died, I was sent to the basement to fetch a jar of it
from the many shelves of canned goods that
she and my mother had made together.
There was only ONE jar of the grape-walnut jam left.
I thought "I'll never get to see her or have this ever again".
The finality of death really hit me hard at that moment
and I will never forget it.
Many, MANY years later.....like 20 something years later,
I relayed that story to my elderly father.
He said "Well, why didn't you ask me? I know how to make it!"
And so we did.
It tasted exactly as I had remembered it.
I have made it every autumn since then,
in memory of my Grandmother, my Mother & my Father,
who passed away 5 years ago, on the 24th of this month.
I love & miss you, Dad!
They are Concord grapes.
They have such a wonderfully sweet, musky smell....
like no other & certainly not
at all like the table grapes you buy in the grocery store!
I use the basic freezer jam recipe
that is on the fruit pectin package by the Ball company,
which is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year!
My grandmother used them, my mother used them, I use them
and someday I hope Caroline will too!
so I made up 3 jars of jam for her without the walnuts.
The rest will go to family members at Christmas.
"The word tradition comes from the Latin traditionem, acc. of traditio which means "handing over, passing on",Beliefs or customs taught by one generation to the next."
I hope you can start a tradition and make some memories with your loved ones today.