Wednesday, July 20, 2011


What a busy day of jar hunting! A wonderful neighbor is restoring an old house and had some jars to find new homes for. So armed with boxes we went into the basement of this old house to salvage as many usable jars and possible. Most of the jars had foodstuffs from the 1990's and were on the verge of becoming open. The original owner had canned milk, corn, tea, chocolate, rose hips, spinach, beets, honey, herbs, jams and syrups. It was amazing the amount of time spent canning all this food. The sad part was that the lids had rusted in the damp basement and were unusable except for compost. I was able to salvage most of the unused jars large and small sizes. Next, I loaded my car with about 70 jars of various sizes and shapes. I think I am all set for jars with plenty to share with other caners, too.
Having canned for just the two of us, I realize how one can make too much food. Last year I made 2 bushels of apples into 18 quart jars of apple sauce, but we did eat all but 1 jar. And all 12 quart jars of peaches were eaten. So I think I have a grasp of not wasting canned foods. I had a great neighbor show me how to do this. So with this years harvest and new/old jars I am ready to expand my canning.
Even though that old basement pantry is now a bio hazard in that old house, it was a learning experience. To see how someone else made the most out of what they grew/raised in a their own pantry. And one day I am sure these jars will leave my hands for the next generation to pick up and try.
The next job will be to remove the filled jars and empty the contents with air masks on.
We are going to lend the owner a hand for this messy task in the basement jar-mageddon. Once the food and glass are removed the rest of the basement will be cleared out and the house ready for restoration work. We all just need a break with cooler weather out here in the Ozarks.
I am so grateful our neighbor wanted to salvage these old jars. It was worth the effort even in this summer heat.

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