I once longed for a large garden plot or plots for producing a bountiful harvest to preserve by canning,stocking the pantry and any available space I could find in the cupboards.I have everything except the bountiful harvest.Two or three years I have waited,planned,cultivated,planted and nothing more than what could be eaten at each picking. The heat and lack of rain for a couple of years then too much rain has created many problems. I have given up hope on ever achieving my goal unless I purchase everything at the farmer’s market which I’m hoping to do in the near future.
I grew up watching my grandmother in Oklahoma preserving all of her food this way from stews to what would be used in desserts.
As a child I loved the sound of the weight Jiggling as she canned,seeing all the beautiful foods in the Mason jars placed on towels on the counters as they cooled,the sounds of the lids popping as they sealed and later testing to see which didn’t seal.
I would watch as she diligently took the task at hand and created beauty before our eyes as she did with everything from crocheting,sewing,making crafts and cooking, I don’t believe there was anything she could not do. She survived the great depression and the dust bowl. She was a strong woman knowing how to survive,how I wish I could of learned more from her. Many times I’ve looked back to yesterday at her home and how when there we never did without anything. Her laundry was the cleanest arround many women telling her so,though I remember how she washed them in a wringer washing machine often scrubbing them on a scrub board and when finished hanging them on the clothesline and how wonderful they smelled and soft because she ironed everything so it wouldn’t be harsh or rough on our skin.Life is so much simpler now as opposed to washing clothes as she did then and years before she had the washing machine.
We live in a society which has made life simpler for us but much busier than ever. My grandmother knew when to rest,take a nap if it deemed necessary or just to lay for a few minutes with her eyes closed,she went to bed as the saying goes with the chickens and rose with the rooster crows.
I remember the story’s of her picking cotton,pecans and what she had to to make the money needed or barter for food for her wages.
My grandfather and she were sharecroppers and she knew what hard work really was.
They raised chickens,a hog or two,had a milk cow and would raise the bull calves for meat.
Daddy too always had a garden, fruit trees,and life stock until we moved from Oklahoma. When we lived in Baton Rouge,Louisiana he did have tomatoes but it then became flowerbeds thus my love in every aspect of my raising. The gardening,canning,animals and flowerbeds.
I love how I was raised and the things I’ve learned and one day I too will have my pantry full of Mason jars filled with goodness.