1. maple syrup. I can not, for the life of me, understand why anyone would want to buy anything other than REAL maple syrup. This comes from growing up with a maple bush in our back 40 and having my parents boil the sap each spring to make our own syrup. My husband Derek: he'd be fine with Aunt Jemima's any day.
2. pickles. I can not, for the life of me, understand why anyone would want to buy pickles. Aren't these something that you make, like with your grandmother's recipe? I made small sweet dill pickles yesterday. Derek informed me that they're not his favourite. His favourite? Store-bought huge dill pickles - the very sour kind.
Sweet Dill Gerkins
¾ cup water
1 cup vinegar
¾ cup sugar
1 t pickling spice
¼ t turmeric
In each jar:
garlic cloves (one per jar)
If you have a ½ bushel of cucumbers, multiply the above syrup recipe by 6.
Wash cucumbers well and clip of the ends. Place them in a bowl, covered in water, and sprinkle several tablespoons of pickling salt on top. Salt cucumbers overnight.
Heat syrup ingredients until boiling. Turn down heat to medium; heat cucumbers in syrup ‘til colour changes. Take out the pickles with a slotted spoon so that you can keep using the syrup to heat more cucumbers.
Put one clove of garlic and a sprig of dill in each sterilized jar. Add pickles. Pack tight to fit as many as you can in the jar. Add hot pickling syrup to jars until ¼” from top of jar. Sprinkle a bit of alum on the top to keep pickles crisp. Put lids on top. Process in canner for 10 minutes.
My 1/2 bushel of cucumbers made 20 jars of pickles - enough for one year.
3. jam/jelly. Do people really buy this in a store, and not just make it themselves from their backyard berries? Yes. Derek included.
4. pencil cases. An American friend informed me that they don't use pencil cases south of the border - can you imagine? Most of my pencil cases growing up were handmade - sewn by my mom. And I loved them. So I sewed a pencil case for my daughter last year - she picked the fabric. It turned out a bit small. Note to self: measure it against some long unsharpened pencil crayons (called "colored pencils" in the USA) before cutting and sewing. Apparently, through the course of the year, some friends and her art teacher commented that it was a small pencil case, so we're in the market for a new one before school starts. I found a plastic BOUGHT one that I'm not using much, and offered it to her because I wasn't sure about taking on a sewing project this week, even a tiny one like a pencil case. She was quite excited. But it pains me just a tiny bit to think of this impersonal case going to school. Homemade signifies loving care to me - to open and close something every day at school and remember home... what could be better?
|last year's homemade case beside this year's plastic one|
There are probably more things I'm snobby about, and maybe when Derek reads this about 2 months from now he can add to this list.