On jar madness

The last five jars!  (Cubed big tomatoes with onions, garlic, basil and parsley.  Notice how the fruit rises above the fluid in the right one.  This is okay; I will simply make sure to eat this one before the others.  This happens sometimes when things are canned in their own juices with no added liquid:  the pressure canner cooks them and the fruit shrinks.)

You know, I am a planner, and I tend to have about eight irons going in the fire at a time (doing so keeps my little hamster wheel brain churning) but I banged up against something yesterday that made me stop in my tracks. Full stop.

I am out of canning jars.

How can this be? I thought I had a lot of jars.  Upon moving here, I had my city girl stash of, I don’t know, 5 dozen jars or so. This is an old farmhouse, and it came complete with an old farmhouse collection of canning jars…many of them filled with stuff from the 1980s, frankly. About the same time we moved here, my mom moved into a house that also had boxes of (thankfully empty) jars in her basement. And, as you might know, if someone finds out you’re a canning person, you become the recipient of the contents of their basements too, so…how is it I could run OUT?

But I did.

Maybe this is a sign that I have canned enough stuff for the year. But, but…I haven’t even touched the apples yet, or the meat birds, or, well, dang, I have another month’s worth of tomatoes outside…and ohmigosh the GRAPES…

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12 responses to “On jar madness

  1. Hee hee, I seem to have that same problem, no matter how many boxes of jars I snatch up at garage sales. Unfortunately it won’t happen this year, with the abysmal garden we’ve got this time around.

  2. It’s ok, you just need more jars. It’s kind of like full size sheet pans, you can never have too many of them because you will always turn around and need just one more.

  3. Shoot, I’m just plain mad about jars, the new Ball pint jars I finally bought this year, with their small, round bottoms. Why, why, why did they change them? Now I’m back to scavenging older jars wherever and then trying to keep the old ones and my favorite Kerr jars aside for peaches and such, then making sure they aren’t given away to people who won’t be returning ’em. What a pain.

    But nice looking tomatoes. After all these years I’m still amazed why some jars in the same batch have floating fruit or lose liquid and others don’t…

  4. But if … the pressure canner cooks them and the fruit shrinks … shouldn’t the shrunken fruit be below the fluid?

    I’ve turned my floating fruit jars upside down for awhile and that seems to even them out.

  5. Get more jars. You will go crazy if you don’t.

  6. Gracious! You must be doing quite well at this point if you’ve used up all your jars. You’ve been a busy little bee this summer!

  7. wow, i think we need a count of full jars! definitely get more!

  8. Ah Kelli, I really feel for you on that garden. We had lots of rain last year and I lost a lot of stuff…maybe not nearly as much rain as you, though. But I cracked up at the garage sale reference because, uh, I forgot about the two boxes of the things I picked up recently!

    Oh Alecto you are right again. Yep. Just needed another 2 sheets to freeze things flat yesterday and dang: they were already IN the freezer freezing things flat. Sigh.

    Marci you Do know my favorite jar, don’t you?? Well! Tom just bought me a ton of boxes of jars. Wow I forgot how cheap they are, not having had to buy some in a while. So I am trying hard not to develop favorites, except for my wine-sipping one… And yes, losing fluid: a great mystery.

    Eva, from what I can surmise, the cooking process breaks the cell walls and the fluid leaks out. I do my best to kind of tamp them down with a spoon but, well, sometimes I am more successful than other times. Again, it’s all okay as the air has been sucked out of there through pressure; it’s just not so…appetizing. Thanks for the upside down tip!!

    CC, of course I write these things after the fact. Tom, who hates my vow of poverty, really LOVED the idea of going to the store and buying a ton of jars.

    Taylor, yep! Busy. Actually, some boring things like canned beans have really eaten into my stash of jars. But…well. A jar of my black beans, a jar of tomatoes, one browned onion and some ground chicken and I have chili for an easy meal this winter.

    Oh Gaile no way will I count them. It would show how truly mad I am. 🙂

  9. and do you can the ground chicken?

    Had to laugh when I read this post, I’ve been buying jars every time I see them because I’m freaked out at the thought that they are a “seasonal item” and the stores soon won’t have any. Sorta calmed down today when I thought to look on Amazon and saw not only jars of all sizes but lids, too. My husband said today when I came home with more jars that he thought I had enough. I walked over to the pantry, opened the door and pointed out to him that yes, I do have a lot of jars but right now, the ones I have are full. and we won’t even get into what I think he has enough of. He restores old cars for fun…I grow and can.

    and if the bottom falls out, at least we can eat my hobby.

    I so hear you on the vow of poverty, El. My focus is paying off the debt and only buying things that will feed us or sustain us. Suppose it’s much easier to do when both are on board but I seem to be the only one in this partnership that has a sorta sick feeling inside about the way things are going and where we all might be headed. Maybe it’s from growing up in a not so affluent family but I just feel better when I don’t owe anybody anything and there’s some (in whatever form…food, money, fuel, firewood) put by, just in case.

    get you some more jars, el. Otherwise, I’ll have to add you to my list of things to worry about. I know you are very self sufficient but there’s no way even you can rig up a jar from stuff you already have.

  10. As a novice pressure canner, I am relieved to see that some of your jars lost a little liquid during processing! I’ve been turning those jars upside-down too, seems to help. And then some of them, we’ve just gone ahead and eaten. Peaches in honey are dreamy…

    Oh, and I’m out of jars too, with about 80 tomatoes sitting on the counter and at least 30 more ripe every day!

  11. Oh, K! I so hear you. Especially on the worry thing. We’re doing what we can and are mostly together on it but I swear old habits somehow don’t die in the male half of this partnership. But so it goes: one of us needs to be the goad, the nag, the worrywart. I suppose that is me. And your mentioning of paying off debt got me going, too. We’ve been doing some rather odd things here as an experiment this summer. They haven’t found their way into the blog because the blog is pretty much garden and food-related; somehow mentioning that we are saving half of what we make and let one car sit in the garage all summer doesn’t quite fit that bill. But yes, around here, surprisingly, jars can be had all year long; I am grateful for that little bit of security. And no, the ground chicken was thawed then ground; the idea of canning it sounds really ick to me. I canned some chicken soup, but this next go-round will see at least three birds in some jars. Soon too those little buggers are getting big!

    Oh, and I put the word out to my mother in law that I need more jars. Now they’ll start rolling in. I never want ANYTHING, see, and it bugs her greatly, as she’s a very generous soul.

    Amanda, yeah. Somehow they don’t tell you that with pressure canning you need to tighten the jar bands about another quarter turn than you do with a boiling-water bath, but it’s true. I *remember* this little detail every year with the first batch of pressure canned goods, so yes, I have a few light-on-the-liquid jars downstairs. But peaches! Yipes don’t get me started. LOVE canned peaches. But go get some more jars too!!

  12. Oh, and speaking of Tom, we caught his cover on Harper’s. Really cool. I think he’s the only artist (I’m aware of) doing this kind of stuff.

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