Updated: Feb 10, 2020
Mike's grandmother, Pluma, was an amazing woman. She lived in the Appalachian mountains where they dip into northeastern Alabama. When I first met her, she was the most warm and welcoming person I had ever known. Even in her 70's, she still lit up the room when she entered. Her hair was long and braided and wrapped in a bun everytime I saw her. She used her pressure cookers to fix supper every night.
She had chickens, a dairy cow, ducks, pigs and fish from their pond. Her garden was huge! The dirt was the blackest I had ever seen and seemed to grow anything that was planted. I had never tasted grapes so sweet!
One day while visiting, I was bemoaning the loss of our freezer contents. It was not the first time we had lost the contents. Hurricanes and babysitters leaving the freezer door open have a tendency to melt the contents inside.
"Why do you freeze your food?" she asked.
"I have extra. What else would I do with the extra?" I asked.
I followed her to a long closet, of sorts, off her side porch. She opened the door to reveal a dark room full of shelves and jars of yumminess. I had never seen home canned meat. There were jars of fish, sausage, beans, jam and other foods that she had grown. This woman knew what it meant to be self sufficient.
I went home and bought a canner without any research. I read the book from cover to cover and began to can some of what I grew. I had no idea where this would lead me, but doing the math, I knew that over the long haul canning would be a tremendous money saver. The up front cost was high, but once the canner and jars were paid for it would only be the lids and seeds.
Granny Pluma lived into her 90's and even bought a new rotortiller when she was 90. Good food, wonderful family, and her faith made her my heroine. There are some people who influence others for generations. Thank-you Granny Pluma for the legacy you left for my family!