Somethings to a mom represent her family better than others. I had a growing family so when I received this pot as a Christmas present over thirty years ago, I knew that this would be used to build memories and moments that would bring my family together.
I learned how to make sauce; this was a huge thing. To me, making sauce was like a way of passage, like belonging to an elite group of people. Sauce is made for days and being prepared for months as you are putting leftover meat in the freezer to put in your pot for flavor. When sauce it made, it's for a big occasion. One that is to be celebrated with a big pot of sauce in the middle of the table and others around the table talking and rejoicing with sauce. I always made more sauce than anyone could eat. But it really was more about the appearance of the it on your table. It was the center piece.
I have invited the neighborhood to my house on Cumberland Avenue for Sunday football and sauce. prepared all week getting the ingredients together to start the three-day simmer. We would be crowded if everyone showed up that we invited. but who really cared when sauce was being served?
My Pot was used for after thanksgiving dinner when it was time to get the broth to make soup and dumplings. We had big thanksgiving gatherings. The first year I was married to my second husband we had 25 people attending our Thanksgiving dinner. I was always in my element with matching plates and party favors. Sitting around the table with great food and awesome conversation. Another time We had people over that had no place to go. We ended up with 18 that year and so many laughs and warm feelings. My pot was used to make the twenty pounds of mash potatoes. Then after to cook the turkey from the bone for turkey vegetable soup. My pot holds such deep memories.
There were times that I made soup that would last for the full week for dinner. I can laugh about it now when my children bring it up in conversation. But, at the time I was just figuring out how to feed my kids till the next paycheck I was waiting for. Looking back who would want to eat Pea soup for a week? I didn't even like it fresh let alone for a week. But, when someone gives you a ham bone, then split pea soup it is or bean soup that gave my kids the farts for a week. That pot could hold a lot and was used all the time during those really tight years. Now it has become table talk at thanksgiving whenever my children are together. Jokes and laughter are good for the soul even sometimes at your expense.
In 1994, My first husband and I had an accident with a pressure canner, where it blew up and burned us with sauce. We had spent seventeen days in a burn unit. I was a gardener and a canner for my family. After that incident I only used a hot water bath for canning. I could preserve up to five hundred quarts and pints in one year. This pot was a life saver for me. I have used it many times for vegetables, fruit, and sauce. I also made pie filling, and beans. My favorite thing to make was apple sauce. Still a staple at Thanksgiving. This pot could hold eight quarts at a time. As my children got older and we moved to the city, I didn't preserve much but, when I did, my pot was there. The feeling of accomplishment still warms my heart today. When I see my friends on social media posting their goods that they have preserves, it takes me back to those moments of seeing my stuff all lined up nicely of the basement shelves. brings me back to moments where I knew I was helping my family survive the cold winters. My pot was there for me.
This past Thanksgiving, I knew it was time. When I was preparing to leave for my son's home, I knew that it was time for my pot to take its trip with me. I knew with their growing family it was time. The memories were now my daughter in loves to make. This pot isn't silver and gold or anything fancy, but it was something that I knew when I handed it to her, she would know the value. I felt that as a mother she would understand the value it held to me. She would now make her own memories with my pot. I hope someday she will also be able to pass it down to her daughter in love with her family stories attached to it. Plus, she will hear the stories of her children, while sitting around the table," remember when mom made this or that with that pot?" everyone will laugh, and she will feel connected again to her family as they too will move on and she will have no need for the pot,
What is so precious to you that will or was hard to pass on?