Thursday, September 4, 2008

Canning peaches


I don't know how some women do it - single-handedly managing to put up dozens and dozens of jars of produce. Maybe if I did it more often, I'd get faster, but it took me all day yesterday to do 14 jars . I ended up with 11 jars of peaches because one broke in the canner (What a mess!) and 2 jars of tomatoes.

Several years ago when I began to work full time, I sold my canner at a yard sale and bought a freezer telling myself I'd NEVER can again. LOL! But for some reason, this year, the desire to do it was back. Maybe it's because I'm trying to be frugal since I'm not working now. Maybe it's because we are pastoring Dan's home church where he grew up - these are the women who taught me HOW to can things so many years ago. Maybe it's because we planted a garden for the first time in years?????

I don't know what the reason is, but I decided to start again. After investing in a brand new canning pot and raiding my mother-in-law's basement for empty jars, I set to work. The first thing I made was relish using my mother-in-law's recipe. She's not able to do it anymore and her supply is dwindling. Since Dan likes it, I made a batch.Yay! All 10 pint jars sealed and looked so good on the shelf.

Then came the green beans. I froze 8 quarts from my garden, but they just taste better when canned so I filled 12 pints of beans. For the last 3 weeks I've done a half a bushel each week of peaches, ending up with 31 quarts.

Yes, it's a lot of work, but I had forgotten how satisfying it felt to see those fruit and veggie filled jars lining the shelves in my pantry. I forgot how much better that food tasted than store-bought tin cans of food. I forgot the sense of accomplishment it gave me when all the jars sealed with that little "pop!"

As I look at the visible fruit of my labor, it is a subtle reminder that I am responsible to the Lord of the harvest to help "preserve" the souls of those around me through my actions and words.

Lord help me be a good steward of Your Word, sharing it with those around me who are hurting.

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