I have lots to do.
I should have known! At around 7 a.m. I came out to the back porch to sit quietly and enjoy my morning cup of coffee. That was almost four hours ago! I am still sitting here, enjoying the breeze, the birds, the insects pollinating the garden, the rabbit and the squirrels. The breeze makes it bearable, even pleasant out here, sitting. The heat is beginning to gather, the thermometer say it is 27C, the weather people say the Humidex is 36C, and it is beginning to get warmer as the sun reaches around the house towards the porch. I am hungry, as I didn’t eat before coming out here. But I am loath to go inside, because once I do I will be in the air conditioned house for the rest of the day.
My to-do list is a long one, nothing is urgent though, except eating something. It is a little late for breakfast, so if tarry on the back porch, admiring the garden, for a wee bit longer, I can call my first meal lunch.
Today I am tackling what will probably be this year’s last batch of Dill Slice pickles. The Pickling Cucumber plants are spent, and will soon be pulled out to make way for Kohlrabi seedlings, and there are currently no new English Cucumbers growing on the vines. If we do get a few more English Cucumbers, we will be using them to garnish our Falafels. I need to bake bread. I need to can the frozen Strawberries and Rhubarb as pie filling. I need to get the saved jars and plastic containers sorted, so that what we aren’t keeping can be set out for recycling. And I will stop the long list right there, and divert my thoughts towards why we have all these jars and plastic containers.
The thing about preserving a lot of our own food, is that it must be stored in something. Containers. Canning requires a specific type of container, canning jars, so that one is easy. Dehydrating demands jars or plastic containers with airtight seals. Freezing requires plastic bags, and plastic containers. I avoid storing things in glass in the freezer whenever possible, because it is so brittle and breakable when frozen, and because it will break if the head space is not the correct amount or shape. Fermenting is done in wide mouth mason jars, or the crock. So most of our food is either canned, frozen, dehydrated, or fermented. And it all takes containers.
When I was a single Mom and bought most of our food, rather than preserve it myself, the containers were put in the recycling bin on the curb. They didn’t accumulate, but flowed through the house, in one door, and out the other. But now that I have the opportunity and means to preserve a lot of the food we eat, I must have containers to put it in. And the containers aren’t going anywhere, they come in the door, then they have to be stored, either empty or full, they need to be stored on site.
Container management is a big deal when you preserve a lot of your own food.
Food that we do buy in containers, such as sour cream, margarine, jars of olive oil, offer an opportunity to acquire high quality, food grade containers at a very low cost. So we wash and save almost all containers that come into the house, right down to those flimsy filmy plastic produce bags that you take off a roll in the produce section of the grocery store. Most days you will see a collections of washed and rinsed plastic bags hanging on our clothesline.
After living here for five years now, there is quite a collection of containers in the basement and the garage. We won’t be keeping them all. The current phase of the basement reorganization is managing the container situation. The bags of containers will be sorted through, and those that might not be needed will be put out at the curb for recycling. The volume of jars and plastic containers at the curb will be substantial this week.
Not much in the way of recycling and garbage leaves Mist Cottage, we compost most food scraps, and reuse containers. Our most wasteful purchase, in the way of excess containers, is beverages. We still haven’t got that one figured out, how to access juice and coffee without the disposable containers.
Well the thermometer says it is 30C in the shade, the sun is creeping up on me, and I am really, really hungry, so I will end this entry now, and head into the house to begin working on my projects for the day.
It has been lovely though, sitting out here this morning, chatting with you all!
Stay safe dear friends.
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Monday 24 August 2020
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Dew point: 22.6°C
Wind: SSW 16 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.”
1889 – 1964
Julia saves the food containers, too. The Arborio rice plastic boxes and Talenti ice cream jars are saved for loose leaf tea. She saves so many jars, periodically, we have to do a purge, or we’ll be buried in them.
Good Nehru quote. I’m glad I’m “mostly” serene.
Joan, so it isn’t just us! Those Arborio and Talenti ice cream containers look very handy! I had to look them up 🙂 Yes, the periodic purge is oh so important, lol.
I liked the quote too, these are the kind so thoughts and philosophies I try to apply to life during the Pandemic.
Hello Maggie and all: having lived with a Mother, who saved everything…would wash aluminum foil….I guess having 8 children, she was a stay-at-home Mom…had to be…Daddy was in the Air Force and was away on deployments more than he was home…well, let’s just say she managed very well. I can remember not having a store bought dress until I got to nursing school. I wore some ungodly hand-me-downs. But, she cooked good nutritious food. We didn’t have “fast food”. I remember the Sears Catalog, and ordering shoes, underwear, winter coats, and ONE idea for my birthday present each year. She would iron one day a week…all of our dresses had to be ironed. She canned, filled the freezer every year…and, I have eaten many bowls of corn flakes from saved plastic
containers! She cooked and baked and sewed and kept an immaculate house. None of us can understand how she did what she did, as we attempted to raise our 2 or 3 kids, while working full time. I had never tasted a store bought pickle until I left home. Or a canned biscuit. So, Maggie…..I so admire what you do. I wish I had some of your knowledge, and, more of my Mom’s abilities. Stay well……xxoo,m
Hello Anonymous! Your mother sounds amazing and talented! I think love must have fueled her energy, that is how she did what she did. Where I grew up there was appreciation and acceptance of domestic tasks, as worthwhile and crucial contributions to family life. Some of what I do I have to do, some of what I do I want to do, and I love it all because I like taking care of myself. I am deeply grateful that I am able to do what I do.
From the time I was very small I spent time helping my Mom and my Granny with their daily tasks, working on the farm, in the garden, picking wild fruits, and I loved spending the time with them, and learning from them. It isn’t work to me, it is a form of communion with those I have loved, those I love, and life.
There is plenty I can no longer do, but what I can do keeps me busy enough to hardly notice.
Hi Maggie: I have no idea how I got listed as anonymous….it was me, Margarett!! Anyway, thanks for answering my post. I am waiting to hear from my oldest brother, Butch, who
lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana. We are all anxious to hear his damage assessment. He and his wife lost everything in Katrina..my younger brother, Allen, who lives in south
Alabama, will be going over to help him. They had evacuated north to a sister in-laws
house. I can only imagine the anxiety of not knowing how ones home survived. But as is
said, “things can be replaced”…but lives cannot. Dallas is having another heat wave…
108 tomorrow, and that is not the “feels like heat”. But, with September quickly around the corner, the heat will slowly improve. I love Fall and Spring here. Now, a few years ago, I could play 36 holes of golf in this heat, but not anymore. Please take care, and stay virus free. xxoo. m
Margarett! I hope your brother Butch’s home escapes damage! What a good idea, moving out of harms way, to the north. What a year for weather, nothing here compares to the intensity you are experiencing in the southern US. My northern climate heritage really shows when the weather gets hot, I’ve never been able to tolerate heat or humidity with any degree of grace. Fall is just around the corner! We notice it here because suddenly, or it seems sudden but probably is not, Attila leaves for work in the dark, shorter days are upon us. Wishing you and yours good health, stay safe dear friend! xxoo