Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Shelf of Organic Goodness

Well, it has been a long time since I last posted. I am trying to get into more of a routine with this blog, and now that winter has arrived and will be here for quite some time, I am hoping to have some more spare time!

I learned how to can from my wonderful partner's mother. She taught us both last summer, and I don't think I will ever be able to stop! This summer I did 28 jars of peaches, 17 apricots, 23 pears, strawberry jam, and too many freezer jam varieties to name! Plus I have pumpkin pie pear butter, pear sauce, cranberry sauce, and plum butter left over from last year. Now our kitchen is not tiny, and I did have a little shelf that was partially dedicated to storing these jars, but it was just not up to the job of holding all that I had this year. The few small shelves it had were sagging (literally..eek!) with the weight of the jars. So I ended up storing almost all of my pears on top of my cupboards above the fridge where they would fit. Not exactly easily accessible, and I hated hiding away all of that hard work where I couldn't admire it and remember back to the warm (actually sweltering) times spent in the kitchen preparing this wonderful organic, local fruit to be enjoyed during the dead of winter!

                                                                        le sigh...

But I also could not justify the money and environmental impact that a brand new shelf would require. So I just sat back and accepted my little shelf. Until...

                                                      awful picture, but I am so excited!

A shelving miracle! Well, not really. You see, my partner's parents decided to build themselves a deck this summer. Which required wood. Which then created scrap wood that had no use. Until now! While mentioning my lack of shelf space and my desire for a new one in conversation, they mentioned this scrap wood, which they needed to find a use for. (Got to love fellow environmentalists who don't just want to throw anything seemingly useless into a landfill). Enter a handy uncle who has the skill to turn scrap wood into something amazing, and voila! I had a shelf, custom made and environmentally sound! It was delivered this past weekend, and I immediately set to filling it! Oh the joy of organization! The shelf is amazing, simply put. Sturdy, nice and deep, and fit ALL of my jars, old and new, plus ALL of our cookbooks, and still had room for more! My kitchen just feels that much more homey now, and whenever I look outside at the blowing snow and hear the howling wind, all I have to do is turn around and see the shelf carrying all of the sunny summer goodness that canning somehow preserves in shiny glass jars, and I smile.


Hope you are all enjoying your week!