Saturday, September 14, 2013
Those gorgeously red mason jars are filled with apple butter I made yesterday. I would say we've been canning pretty much non-stop since August. Green beans, peaches, pears, grape jelly, peach marmalade, pear preserves, tomatoes, etc. Mom has helped as much as she is able, although at 90 and not in the best of health, it's hard for her to stand for long periods of time. So I've handled the bulk of it this year. Every joint in my body is screaming this morning after yesterday's apple and grape canning, but when I hear the "ping" of that mason jar lid sealing, it's worth it.
Amazingly, sometimes I get chided for all the canning we do. "Why don't you quit bothering with that stuff and just get it at the store." Seriously?
Other folks I know turn their noses up at home-canned produce. If it's done properly and according to established food safety procedures (which we do), it's a rewarding thing to have on hand. And guess what, it is delicious. Far better for you than the processed, chemically preserved stuff you get at the store. So I don't get the attitude.
I get it from my Southern heritage, and having parents who grew up in the Depression. They, as were my grandparents, were poor farmers in Arkansas. It was a hard life. And when you have to do without, you're thankful for whatever food you can raise and preserve.
My father, stepfather, and grandparents have passed on. But I still have Mom and her God-given wisdom. Hard times may be coming. And when they do, I know there will be two people who will be very, very thankful for what is in those mason jars.