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. 


  1. I made this reply on my blog, but don't know if you get notifications so I am posting it here.

    Bo Peep... Thanks for the welcome! Where are you if you don't mind me asking?? I have been terribly jealous of your farm and would love to visit in if I may! I have been checking high and low for any vintage community here in Kenosha, but nothing. Please keep me updated on the car show scene!!

  2. Ok those pickles are making me drool. I have always wanted to can but I don't know anyone that does it and well am a bit afraid of poisening the family would you ever consider giving a lesson??? I would be willing to travel for a canning lesson.

  3. Living Vintage - Canning isn't too hard. I have a Ball book from the '50s (of course) that is chock full of great recipes. Pickles are especially easy! Pack the jars with cold cukes, garlic cloves and dill heads. Fill with the boiled brine and seal. I'd love to have you down sometime. I imagine we wouldn't run out of things to talk about! lol

  4. yes you do need all of those tomato plants and yes you do need all of those cuke plants. one can never have too many. hahahaaa


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