Parkinson's Disease and me

My blog about my experience with Parkinson's Disease

Bottles of sunshine

imageJust the chestnuts and ceps to do and I will have bottled up summer 2014. I don’t know why but I get a tremendous feeling of well being when I look at my preserves store.

Actually everyone around here bottles their summer fruit and vegetable glut to consume throughout the year. I inherited my preserving jars when my 92 year old neighbour died about 5 years ago. She was the lady from whom we bought our house. Like generations of her family she had been born in the house although by the time we bought it from her she had long moved out into a smaller house in the same village. Our preserves are stored in the souillard – a sort of back kitchen which had no ceiling when we moved in because they used to hang the pig from a hook on the roof beam at one time. Now I feel as though my glass jars and bottles have come home.

Her niece offered us the preserving jars and we collected them in several trips with a wheel barrow. We were amazed to discover that many were full and some had labels dating back to 1972. The long-suffering one was quickly tasked with sitting outside to open the bottles and empty the contents into a bucket so that I could put the jars into the dishwasher. As he sat in the sunshine completing my bidding another neighbour, another old lady, enquired what he was going to do with the contents. He told her he had the compost heap in mind and she was horrified. He explained the contents of some were 40 years old and dangerous to eat but she picked up the bucket and said that was a waste and she would give it to the chickens. So that day the chickens dined on a mélange of figs in brandy, beans, carrots and mushrooms and who knows what else with seemingly no ill effect either to them or those who consumed their eggs.

Preparing the fruit and vegetables is actually very hard work particularly tasks like skinning tomatoes and stoning fruit like plums, and backs and thumbs ache in complaint, but all this is forgotten in the winter when we open a jar and remember the summer days. I can recommend it as a good dopamine substitute.

With apologies to http://thejellychronicles.net for any previous slight on domestic goddesses.

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