Who would have ever thought there would be a shortage on canning lids? Yet, here we are hunting all over for lids like we were hunting for tissue paper back in March and April. You talk about a crazy, crazy year.
My husband asked me about five years ago if we could use some half-gallon jars. A man on the job where he worked was emptying out his mom’s cellar and wanted to get rid of them. Lots of the food was still good after many years of storage, but he emptied it all anyway. They have just been taking up space in our canning cabinet all this time. This year though, since we are running short on lids, we have used them for our green beans. I’ve canned all kinds of things this year that I have put in the freezer in the past. The power outage back in the spring has made us rethink freezing our vegetables this year.
Speaking of canning lids, my friend Bob Smith had posted earlier about people having trouble with the new Ball Sure Tight lids. Seems you are not supposed to let them soak in hot water before using. All you are supposed to do is wash them. Well, canners know that you are supposed to boil them before you use them and had no idea of the new instructions, so they had lost a lot of their canning this way. I did exactly what the instructions said this year and still had lots of them to loosen after they had sealed and was stored. I opened my cabinet and could smell something odd. We searched through the jars and lo and behold there were eight jars of cabbage and one squash unsealed. Why couldn’t they leave well enough alone? One of my friends said her aunt had left some boxes of lids in the car and the seals all melted together. From here on out I will be buying a different brand (if I can find any), and I’ll keep checking what I have canned already for loose lids.
I haven’t been able to get to the Farmer’s Market the last three weeks, but hope to this coming Saturday. I’ve seen all kinds of pictures on Facebook of all the produce the vendors have. Evidently this has been a really good growing season for lots of local people. It warms my heart to see people giving their extra goods to others. There are lots of people asking if anyone else wants their squash, peppers, etc. Everything in our garden has done wonderfully, except tomatoes. Of course, that might be because we have picked so many of them before they ripened and used them in chowchow and fried them. I plan to get the rest of them green, too and can them. Thank God our squash has just about ended.
You all that are on Facebook, I want you to look up this page called Cooking with Brenda Gantt. Brenda is from Alabama and so her recipes are as Southern as they can be. But, she is so down to Earth and her accent is so easy to listen to. Most of her recipes are fixed in cast iron cookware, too. I can’t remember how I found her, but there are a lot of people from Letcher County that watch her and make comments. As she’s cooking she always tells some memories about her grandparents or parents and things about growing up.
One story she told the other day reminded me of something my sister Charlene and her husband Rick Mason did. Brenda told a story about when she and her husband were first married and went to the grocery store and brought their groceries home and how special she felt having her own groceries. Well, after Rick and Charlene got married and did their first trading, she called Mom and Dad and told them they had gone trading and asked, “Want to come up and see our orange juice?” Come to think of it, I saved our first grocery store receipt and have it with my marriage keepsakes.
Our community lost a precious person this past week. Barbara Caudill Hampton was an employee of Food City and also Letcher County Board of Education. She came down with COVID-19 about a month ago and never recovered. That makes the second death reported in Letcher County from the virus. Please pray for these families and all others that have lost loved ones.
Some of you former Marlowe Coal Camp people might remember Madonna Taylor Whipple. She is having some serious health problems and her sister Jo Taylor Sturgill asks everyone to be in prayer for her. Lizzie Mae Wright also needs our prayers for her health problems.
Letcher County Public School employees went back to work Monday the 17th. Please keep all these in your prayers daily along with all the other essential workers who are having to be in public through all this COVID craziness.
I have to back up and mention a birthday that was on Aug. 4, Amanda Begley Wynn. I missed the post on Facebook and just saw it this week. Then others this week were Amy Benton Baker and Denise Yonts on the 15th along with Nate Polly. On the 16th was one of our family’s special friends, Faye Martin. From the time we met Sonny and Faye our families were drawn to each other. I still think we are kin somewhere way back. Then, one of my best friends, Vickie Banks Wampler, had a daughter turn 16. It seems like yesterday I met Vickie at Martha Jane Potter Elementary when I was there for an interview for a teaching job. She was pregnant then with her oldest daughter Randi, who is now a sophomore in college. Now her baby, Autumn Wampler, is 16. Seems impossible.
Okay, I’ll end here by reminding you my pastor, Bill Jones, and his family need your prayers. Mommy’s preacher, Bill Craft, and his wife, June, also need your prayers.
Our church is having real life services on Sunday mornings, so if you are comfortable being in public, you are more than welcome to join us.