I’ve heard that smell is closely linked with memory. Ever noticed how that works? You walk in someone’s house or a restauant, take a deep breath, and Grandma comes to mind along with a flood of warm and cozy feelings. Or have you walked past a gentleman and gotten a whiff of a certain cologne, aftershave, or maybe just “old gentleman.” You want to giggle remembering a fun time with a Grandpa who smelled just like that.
One of the participants at our Hog Harvest Days this fall came, in part, for such a reason. He remembered his grandparents preserving pork outside refrgeration, in their cellar, and wanted to learn to do it. He recalled how they boiled the pork–in July by his memory–and rendered the fat. Then they put the pork pieces in crocks, poured the rendered fat over it, covered it, and made him help carry the crocks to the cellar. The smell! He remembered the overwhelming smell of boiling pork in July as horrible! (You can read an account of someone who really did this on the Hillside Homestead blog.)
As she was out and about she saw an Eriobotrya japonica tree. It was covered in ripe fruit. She remembered how her mom, back in Brazil where she was a girl, would make jelly from this fruit every year. It took 2 people peeling the fruit for 4 hours to produce a dozen little jars of jelly. It was young Cristine’s favorite jelly. She was inspired.
She asked the landowner if she could pick the fruit. She carried the buckets home and worked at peeling and cooking them. She’d never done this before, but memory served her well! It was good. She exchanged her little jars for donations and shared the donations with us. This is her message to us, and I pass it on to you:
I am sending you this email to keep you encourage that we can make a lot out of very little with hard work. Never give up!