Shared on HomeStead Barn Hop
We have a sofa table behind our sofa. It is very near the staircase to the basement, and most days, there is a clean, empty canning jar (or two, or three) sitting on that table, waiting to be taken downstairs. Every one of them makes me smile.
Toward the end of harvest 2011 I was down to a very few canning jars. We're talking 3 or 4 pints and a handful of small mouth quarts. It was a great year and I put up a lot of food. The whole purpose of putting food by is to use it in the coming year, and this year I've done my menu planning with that in mind. My goal is to empty those jars that we so lovingly filled, in order to start the cycle again with the coming year's garden.
It is going really, really well. We are enjoying sauces, pickles and relishes of all sorts, syrups, jams and fruit butters, canned vegetables and fruits, soups and stews. I even canned some turkey cubes this past year that have helped me put a quick supper on the table quite a few times. I love the cycle of planting, growing, harvesting and preserving food for my family. I know where it came from (much of our food is very, very local this way), I know what is in it, and I am able to season things to our preference. The initial work of canning saves me time the rest of the year, not to mention a great deal of money.
So when I see those boxes of empty jars under the stairs, each one represents a meal or snack that nourished my family, right here at home. It's a lovely thing.