At our church, we're blessed with some great preaching. Yesterday's message was about choosing to be thankful. To remember - on purpose - the good stuff, the pleasant memories, the blessings. It was a great message and a great time of year for it.
Up here - waaaay north - there are two types of people. Those who start grumbling about winter as soon as there is one chilly August night and those who start looking for pumpkins and cider on September 1. I'm in that crazy, season-loving, bring on winter group. (I reserve the right to occasionally grumble about snow in March or April.) But one of the things I love about this season of transition is the amazing bounty of fruits and vegetables to be found locally.
Last year I started canning and preserving food. It has turned into a bit of an obsession but once you see a shelf lined with gleaming jars of jewel-colored deliciousness - you're hooked. It also helps when you can run to the basement and grab a jar of applesauce during a raging snow storm instead of having to run to the grocery store.
This year, we missed out on two of last years favorites - dill pickles and pickled jalapenos. But we still have our shelves full and for that I am thankful. Our total this year - before we started eating it! - was:
6 quarts pear-sauce
10 quarts sliced pears
14 quarts sliced peaches
14 quarts crushed tomatoes
6 quarts of salsa
A lot of strawberry jam (maybe 18 pints?)
Plus 7 bags of chopped tomatos and 8 quarts of corn in the freezer. Today I'm plowing through our bushel of 20 oz. apples and freshly remembering why I loved them so much last year. They're huge and it makes for a lot less peeling. I'm hoping to get 12 quarts of applesauce.
Today I'm thankful for the provision that God gives us and the ability to preserve it.