I spent most of my childhood in Togo, West Africa. And our family had a mango tree there in the front yard and on this mango tree my Dad grafted it with a branch from another tasty mango tree with no strings in it. One time we had a huge thunderstorm and all the mangoes on the tree fell off. I remember squeezing mangoes, after the skin was taken off, into a large pot with my brother and my Dad. It was a huge effort to get all the juice into the pot. Then my Dad added a lot of sugar and he set the pot on the gas stove and kept stirring and stirring on medium-low heat until it became a smooth jam. In a separate pot on the stove he filled half of it with water and boiled it. Then he placed huge Mason jars into the pot of boiling water to sterilize them. After they were sterilized he would set them right side up on a towel using metal tongs. Then he used a special sky-blue plastic wide-mouth funnel to pour the jam into the jar and then he put the flat sealing lid on it. He took the brass-looking ring and with a separate towel he tightened up the top ring while using the bottom towel to hold the jar so he wouldn’t burn his hand. After we were all done filling those Mason jars we sat down in the living room to read books. After a while we would hear the tops of the Mason jars click or pop and then we knew they were sealed. Then they were left to cooled down and placed into storage after a label was added to the lids to show the jam name and date that it was made. Grafted mango jam is so delicious on a piece of freshly made buttered and toasted bread from the bakery.
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