Homemade Jam and Jelly Lost to Misfortune

After much work, Grandmother's homemade jam and jelly was lost when it fell off the rickety homestead shelf.

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Minor diseases could be as shattering as major ones for the pioneer family home on a sandy farm in northwest Oklahoma.

Grandmother prepared her winter's store of homemade jam and jelly from wild plums and grapes. Her supply represented hours of work in preparing the fruit, and boiling the juice and sugar on a wood range when temperatures often passed the 100 degree mark. And though the fruit was hers for the picking, purchase of the sugar was made with hard-earned money.

Grandmother stored the jams and jellies on shelves in a cellar.

Heavy rains came that year, drenching the dirt walls of the cellar and soaking the floor. The walls caved in, the shelves collapsed, and the homemade jam and jelly jars fell and broke. The fruits of her labor were lost.

Grandmother, ill from the shock, took to her bed for several days. And her family ate sparingly of jam and jelly that winter. 

Florence Alkire
Seiling, Oklahoma


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.