Germ-free Mason jars, hot from the pot of boiling water, gurgling on the cast iron wood stove, stood ready to receive the fruits and vegetables, fresh from the fields and orchards. Lids and sealing rings locked in the freshness. Mama, in her apron skillfully flavored the veggies as she prepared for meals months ahead. The old pressure cooker hissed as it played its part in preserving the bounty of the family farm. Preserves, jams and jellies, sealed in wax, filled the cupboard just waiting for future hot buttered biscuits.
Peeling, dicing, chopping, pickling were all part of the process that brought kin from far away to socialize and join in preserving food for times when the land rested and awaited the start of a new season.
Outside, Sauerkraut (layer of shredded cabbage, layer of salt,) repeated and compressed, awaiting fermentation filled the depth of a Crock on the front porch.
These glimpses of the times that are all but gone will remain with me forever. Life was tough at times but love was the balm that treated the abrasions of near poverty. And the tender touch of those who came for “Canning Days” was felt until the last jar was consumed. God’s bounty awaited, and next year’s promises stood always before us.
Written by: John Posey 10/21/13
Inspired by Canning Colors,
A poem by Donna Jones