I just love this time of year, everything is so beautiful outside. We’ve been making a list of garden tasks that need to be done before winter sets in…the list, it’s long! Since we’ve moved in we haven’t been able to spend as much time getting the garden going as we had hoped. Our focus has been on the house and hopefully we can get all our projects done so that the next growing season we can turn our thoughts fully to the outside. Because our focus has been off the garden we haven’t had as much to put up or preserve. This time last year, we had 26 quart jars of tomato sauce put up. 16 jars of peaches, 10 bags of frozen nectarines, and well over a dozen jars of jam in the pantry, catsup, chutney’s, barbecue sauces etc. This year we maybe got a measly amount canned or frozen. Nothing went to waste, we ate or gave away all our fruit, but we just didn’t have the energy or produce to do more.
With the little we did get canned, we had a bit of a disaster. In fact what happen still remains a mystery. Last week, when our oldest was making his almond butter and jelly sandwich he ran out of jam. We reached for a new jar to find that the seal had popped. We reached for another one, that too had been broken. Seven jars, all their seals broken! These were all different jams, canned from different times of the year. As we tend to be a bit conservative on the food safety meter, we threw them all away, who knows how long they had been unsealed. Uhg. Then this past Sunday we were all sitting in the kitchen. Praire Home Companion was playing on the radio, I was cutting Scott’s hair, the boys were again packing their lunch snacks into little containers and we heard a loud ‘poink’ come from the pantry. Not again! Another jam lid popped.
Those of you who do their own canning, know that ‘ping’ sound that you hear when the jars seal. It’s a soul satisfying sound that gives you an inner happiness. A happiness to know that the job you did was successful, that you have worked to preserve a little bit of summer that will nourish your family in the dark months, that you are somehow connected to previous generations, oh I could go on and on. Hearing that ‘poink’ sound of a jar unsealing randomly in the pantry gives you pretty much the opposite feeling.
Do you have any idea why this happened? Our suspicion is that we got a bum package of lids. Only some of the lids have popped, so I don’t think it wasn’t some sort of atmospheric condition. It wasn’t a bad canning job, as they were different jams done over different times of the year. And this only happened with the small mouth jar lids, none of the large mouth lids have popped…yet! If you have any insight, I’d love to hear it.