How do you remember? Are you an avid photographer and documenter? Do you try to journal daily or weekly? Perhaps you keep mementos, make scrapbooks or you have a stash of stuff in your basement. Maybe your cell phone is constantly lacking space because of the number of photos and videos you take. Despite my efforts to declutter and reduce, I still have high school clothing stored away (which I have no intention of wearing again), yearbooks, crumbled photographs, old museum entry stubs and Christmas cards in boxes. Admittedly, I don’t look at them often but when I do, happy memories flow and, sometimes tears. I hope that they may bring others joy (primarily my children) when they stumble upon them years from now. Hopefully, they won’t feel like these treasures are a burden.
At first, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about for this post. Lilacs are beautiful and smell heavenly but that is stating the obvious. The fact that their season is so fleeting makes them more precious and brings me into the moment. The recipe began with my desire to keep this lilac scent longer than a 2-week period. As I was editing the photographs from my lilac sugar photoshoot, the mason jar caught my eye. Compared to today’s mason jars, it is thick and rugged. It is heavy and the metal tightening lid is a bit shabby. It was also made-in-Canada which is rare for these sorts of items. I have noticed these jars showing up in antique sales and retailing for about $10- $15. Happily, I didn’t pay that price for the jar. Rather, it is one of the few things that I inherited from my maternal grandfather after he passed away several years ago.
My grandfather was a great story teller. We never knew when he was going to open up and start talking about the past but when he did, we were sure to listen. He took his grandchildren back to a time when riding a motorcycle wasn’t quite so dangerous. There was more space on the roads. He camped under trees at night taking full advantage of the starry, country sky. Cooked his food over an open fire or just skipped meals altogether so that he could get back on the road. Fear was not a part of his life at that time nor was it in later years. The details to these wild and otherworldly stories have faded despite my determination to remember them so I can pass them onto my children. I believe they have a right to know and enjoy them as I have. These are, after all, events that have likely had an impact on their life in some form or another.
Shortly after he passed, I started to record his stories in my journal. It was difficult to recall the details and I know his flair are lacking. The hand gestures are not there nor are the turn-of-phrases. My regret is that I wish I would have started recording these stories earlier in life. The experience has kept me mindful of recording the stories that my parents tell as well as the adventures of my own little family. The stories that are so casually mentioned but mean so much.
As for my grandfather’s mason jars, I am quite sure they will not wear out any time soon. Perhaps I will pass them onto my children. I’ll be sure to let them know where they came from.
Sterilize a mason jar. Separate the petal from the sepal (green part). Measure 1 cup of sugar to ½ a cup of petals (or more if you want a stronger taste). Alternate pouring the sugar and the petals into the jar. Seal the jar and place it in a cool and dark location for about a month. Use in tea or baking.
Have you tried one of my recipes? Tag #lindenandlavender on your Instagram so that I can see your creations!