Filling up the Pantry

I don't really know where I got it from, but growing up not much made me more happy than to go grocery shopping with my mom and come home with a big car load of abundance. I don't say that bragging. There was just somethign in that act of shopping with my mom, making purchases and plans for the weeks ahead meal-wise and knowing that there was plenty of food in our house to make those good meals happen! One summer we canned like there was no tomorrow. We froze corn, we canned green beans, we canned pinto beans. We canned so much that we went to the county cannery that was run by extension folks. It was awesome! It was concrete block with about 4 HUGE pressure canners per wall, you could seriously get almost all of your canning done in one day if you were prepared, and we were! We broke beans that summer until my fingers had blisters on them. You know right at that spot on your finger where you choose to break the beans! That was a great summer. I will never forget us working together as a family to store up food like good little squirrels.

Something about that must have stuck with me way down deep somewhere because it seems like at this time of the year PRESERVATION is always on my mind. I don't want to throw a single thing out because I might want that later! Obviously there has to be a balance in all things and I truly cannot preserve everything we grow here on the farm, but it has been fun the past few weeks to try!

I had listed on a note pad everything I had preserved. Jim read it like a recipe and I think was gettting pretty grossed out that vegetable soup starter had salsa and apple butter in it. No honey, not a recipe list, just a list of all the yummies in the pantry, because I really don't have room to see them all, so I keep an inventory list!

It occurred to me this morning as I spent some block of time chopping peppers to dehydrate and making cinnamon rolls for the freezer that perhaps this was a waste of time? I usually ask myself about time waste with this question, "if tomorrow was IT for me, would I still be doing this?" Sometimes that question makes me drop what I am doing, go find a kid and read a book or give a hug, but today the answer was YES! I believe what I was doing this morning was important work, providing for my family, loving my family through food and being (hopefully) wise with our resources. The role of housewife/farmwife/wife in general is not one that is glamorized these days, but it is still important work!

And just in case tomorrow is IT for me, I grabbed a quilt and three cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven and my two little men and we had a Fall Cinnamon Roll Picnic Party outside under the hackberry tree! Satisfying in every way!


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