Sentimental Sunday: The Aroma of Grandma’s House

As a child, Grandma Ida (born Margaret Jaeger on 1 Jan 1919 in IL and died 15 Apr 1980, Chicago, IL)  would make her homemade jellies for the winter. There was always a jar in the fridge and a few more in the pantry. This was a day that would be spent entirely in the kitchen. The boiling of fruits left a more than pleasant aroma. I remember standing on a chair so I was able to look into the colossal pots filled with strawberry’s,  plums or whatever other fruit she used. I can still see the way her kitchen was set up and where each of the appliances belonged. I remember this being a day long project with benefits that would last for months to come.

Ida M. Jaeger, digital copy provided by T. Foote ©2010 Terri O’Connell


As an adult, I wish that Grandma had lived well beyond 1980. I was 8 when she passed away and never really learned to make jelly like she did. I can make freezer jelly and that is really quick to make. Nothing like Grandma did when I was a child. No mason jars or wax needed. Just a plastic container that can be stored in the freezer. Luckily, I have an aunt who learned how to do this last summer and I hope I am  able to spend a day with her over summer to learn from her.

My favorite jelly that Grandma made was plum. It is not the same as buying a jar of Smuckers or any other brand. I have purchased a few in the past and they never taste the same.



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  1. I make some jelly, our favorite is crab apple. It comes out pink and tastes great.

    I do not have any memories of my grandmother cooking anything, but I was only six when she died, and she had been ill.

    It was wonderful to read your memories!

  2. Pam, I am lucky that I have many memories of my Grandmother. As a small child, I spent most of my days with her. The jelly memories just seem to have been calling to me lately.

    Bill, thanks for the continuous reading and encouraging comments.

    1. Cheryl, I have not read that post by Dear Myrtle, I will have to take a look at hers. Freezer jelly is really easy. No boiling of fruit required, you should try that. I gave some to the neighbors and there son ate the whole container in a day. It was yummy!

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