I have such fond memories of washing jars in my grandma’s kitchen. She and my mother taught me to can. They gave me the love of a jar. The love of a full fruit room which is what grandma had. We made applesauce and peach halves. There is just so much satisfaction with a day of hard work and you get to wipe off your jars. You are feeding your family during winter months. Yes I live 2 blocks from a grocery store but there is this primal feeling of satisfaction. I have been given some very old jars that were my great grandmas. This top picture is an example of one. It is dated to the start of the 1900’s. It is a perfect home for dead hearing aid batteries. My other jars of this time period hold my rice, pasta and popcorn kernels.
This summer I felt blah. Not really depressed but feeling I lacked purpose. Looking for a job and dealing with questions of self worth I moved to canning. I didn’t want to move to food to just eat I wanted a purpose. I wanted to provide. I filled my shelves and cupboards and my mood lifted and a sense of pride and accomplishment took over. I started with grape juice which now is the color of a dark amethyst.
Cucumbers started coming in and it was pickle time. Pickles were a whole family effort. Seeing each member taking a job brought such joy to my heart. I am teaching my children a life skill.
Tomatoes did really well this year. I made spaghetti sauce, salsa, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, whole tomatoes and tomato soup. I find extreme pleasure of skinning tomatoes.
My garden gave us so much this year. Lots of peppers. I tried pickled peppers, sweet peppers and I dried a large amount for cooking with.
This past week I got an early Christmas present, a pressure canner. The doors just opened up now. Meats, soups, veggies. I have tried French onion soup and glazed carrots. So fun but scary.
Seeing my cupboards and my shelf brings great pride. That is a lot of hard work. A lot of love and determination. It is as if I feel my grandmothers hand leading me downstairs to take in the awe of the fruit room.
A jar was what my soul needed.