I just finished a three day canning marathon, thanks to my sister-in-law who brought me 6 crates of tomatoes and a bushel of green beans. I haven’t been able to do a lot of canning lately since I can’t have a garden. We live in the middle of the city and have more critters here than in the country. Groundhogs eat absolutely everything. Anyway, doing all that canning brought back a lot of memories of summer days when I was a child and would help my mother can tomatoes.
There was one time in particular that stands out in my mind. We had been working for a couple of days and our antique dining room table was full of beautifully canned tomatoes and spaghetti sauce…until the table leg broke allowing many of the jars to fall crashing to the floor, breaking and leave a huge mess. Tomatoes were everywhere! My mom screamed and then she ran crying to her bedroom. I cleaned up the mess knowing she was heartbroken over the loss of time, food, and money.
When Dad came home from work I filled him in and he went to check on Mom. A few minutes later he came back and told me to fix some spaghetti for dinner. There was only one box of pasta in the pantry and it didn’t look like the usual size. I went to ask Mom how much to cook and she just told me not to bother her. I went to ask Dad how much to cook and he said, and I quote, “Just cook the whole box.” Well, I did. It was a 5-pound box of spaghetti. Now, for anyone who eats pasta knows that 5 pounds is A LOT, even for our family members that had very healthy appetites. Mom was upset about that, too. I blamed it on Dad.
When my husband and I bought our house we inherited that old, antique table. The leg is fixed, but you can still see where it broke all those years ago. When I did all my canning this past weekend, I set NOTHING on that table and all my jars are safely stored away.