When I was a little girl we'd drive to my grandmother's after church on Sundays. She lived a county away, but it seemed like a very long drive to me. One of my fondest memories of visiting my maternal grandmother, Mable Smith Harris, was when she'd pull out a Mason jar full of canned peaches.
My grandmother, like many of our grandmothers, had a huge garden every summer and in the fall she'd can all kinds of fruits and vegetables that she grew. He'd go to her cool, earthy cellar and come up with a jar of peach halves swimming in sweet syrup.
She didn't teach me to can -- my husband's grandmother did -- but my friend Elizabeth hooked me up with with this great kitchen gadget by Ball Co. You put fruit, pectin and sugar into it, push the button that says "jam" and in 21 minutes you have really terrific, warm jam.
This morning I made blueberry jam to eat on biscuits from Serita Jakes' recipe. Yes, she's the wife of Potter's House Bishop T.D. Jakes. They're a terrific family and they love to cook and eat. Serita's biscuit recipe is super simple: 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of shortening. After you've cut the shortening into the dry ingredients, add milk until you form a soft dough (about 3/4 cup). Knead it a few times on a floured surface, then cut into 12 biscuits and bake 12-15 minutes in an oven preheated to 450 degrees.