Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Ode to an Empty Jar
This time of year my basement shelves take on a slightly different feel. Gone are the rows of filled jars, of varying size and content. Sauces and jams. Chunky, pureed, thick and thin. Jellies, quarts, pints. None can escape the inevitable trip to the dinner table.
Faint rings in the dust is all that remains of what once stood. Jars that once filled the shelves to capacity, standing against the coming winter with determination. The only survivors are the pickles and cucumber relishes. Stewed tomatoes make their last stand and salsa succeeds in its assault on the tastebuds.
Slowly, slowly the work of last fall disappears and slowly, slowly it is replaced by clear, empty Masons.
Upside down, barren and dusty yet promising, in their own way. Their glittering transparency encourages me to start thinking about this year's garden. Can I skip cukes this summer? Do I really need that many tomato plants? Shouldn't I put up twice as much strawberry jam? It's a good feeling to know that you can start over. This year's harvest will fill up those dusty, waiting jars. Again they'll line those shelves, sealed and proud, anticipating their turn at the table.