Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Great-Grandmother's Canning Jars

Yesterday I got a wild hair and I thought, I want to can today! My mom had gone up to my great-grandmother's house (she passed away April 2011) to take pictures of the remaining contents before it's sold last week. Of course, there were canning jars in the basement. Instead of turning home after errands I just headed west toward Bridgton in a very unlike me spur of the moment way. There are a couple farm stands along the way so I planned to go get the jars and stop for cucumbers on my way back. While I was there I was a little over come with nostalgia. And I couldn't help taking pictures of this house my great-grandfather built for his family on land from his parents, much like we are. It also held many of the holidays of my childhood, occasional sleepovers and the much more precious last few years of my great-grandmother's life. It's nothing impressive at first glance but it shows it's craftsmanship if you spend some time with it. And, funny enough, I noticed things about it before that I never had. Like there was a small stream running by and through the rock wall. I was also surprised to see the crab apple tree still producing such good fruit.

After my trip down memory lane I headed back and stopped at the farm stand. I bought cucumbers and some very nice green beans. Then I stopped to get new rings and lids as well as vinegar to make pickles. Later my mom got a 5 pound bag of 'reject' cucumbers for $2.50. They were all a little funny looking but perfect for slicing up for pickles. All in all I got two pints of dilly beans, 2 pints of dill spears, 2 quarts of dill spears and 4 quarts of dill slices. I love pickling!

As for the jars? Well, there were about 60, all in good condition although the rings and lids were in throw away condition. So for the minor investment of new rings and lids I have quite a few 'new' jars.

I can't wait to be canning tomatoes. Grow plants grow! On an interesting note, after all my canning was done, water turned of and jars safely cooling... I went to put my dinner (chicken breast) in the frying pan and screaming hot oil splashed onto the palm of my hand. Yup, I got a nasty second degree burn. Between the pain, the frustration of my stupidity and my now tired disposition, I cried a little as I held it under cold water for 20 minutes. Then I was hungry and wanted to just sit and eat. So my mom helped me wrap it up lightly and cut my chicken for me. And I took Tylonol, a pain med and drank 2 beers. Finally it felt well enough by 11:30 that I went to bed. It felt fine this morning as long as I didn't touch it or jerk my hand. And, it looked like this:

May not look that bad in the picture but oh man did that hurt! I have kept in lightly covered with gauze and hope it heals quickly.

'Til next time!


  1. Hi! I am looking to interview families about living in Maine and homesteading, I just finished reading a few of your blogs. How would I contact you to speak to you about your experiences? Love your blog!

    1. Sure, you might have guessed but we are still starting up but I would be happy to answer what questions I can. If you would like to email me at, I will get back to you.