Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ode to an Old Mason Jar

I have been on a canning craze the past couple of weeks.  I have canned straight necked yellow squash, cucumbers, radishes, carrots and okra.  I get a huge satisfaction of "putting up" food for a later time.  It makes me feel thrifty.. and besides that, it's just plain fun.  My canner pot and a lot of my supplies come to me from my grandma on my mom's side.  She canned all her life until her later years.  My mom herself helped can a lot growing up at home.

Tuesday night I was packing okra into a quart mason jar.  Not just any jar, but a jar like the picture to the left.  It was an old Kerr jar that had been one of my grandmothers. I thought about my grandmother and how back in those days they canned to be able to eat and survive. After I packed the okra stalks in I carefully poured the hot brine slowly into the jar and the other various jars that were on the table.  I retrieved the boiling lids and rims from the hot water and put them on tightly.  I lifted the lid on the canner which was at a rolling boil at that point and took the tongs and grabbed the neck of the Kerr jar to put it in.  When the jar was about a quarter of the way submerged it busted.  I didn't shatter or explode.. just a gentle *pop* and it fell into 3 big pieces and my okra all floated to the top of the canner water.  For a moment I was surprised and then sad... because that old Kerr jar was a jar that had been through many a canning with my grandma.  I pulled all the big pieces of glass out and threw them away, salvaged the lid and rim and then picked all the okra out of the pot.  As I threw the jar pieces in the trash I realized I really didn't need to be upset... the jar had come full circle.  My grandmother had used it, my mom had used it and now I was going to use it.. but it broke.  If it were to break, why not at a granddaughters house?

The four other quart canning jars that I used, which were a mixture of Ball's and Kerr's did fine in the boiling canner pot......

2 Cor 4:
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

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