It is in the heart that the values lie. ~Mark Twain
A few weekends ago I played tourist, and visited the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Maryland. Seeing historic buildings and replications of farm life as it used to be lead me to think about the amount of time women spent in the colonial kitchen. Day to day activity revolved around just keeping the household going. A good days work in an agrarian society meant raising one’s own livestock, planting and sowing seeds in a garden, harvesting the yield, stocking the larder for winter, tending fires and animals and handcrafting everything.
The other day I was able to begin stocking “my larder” for winter. My childhood friend Marge arrived with a bag, and said “Here, I’ve got something for you. You know all those mason jars I’ve had in my basement that were my mom’s and grandmothers? I had a brainstorm and decided to do something with them.”
She proceed to reveal what was wrapped in her brown paper bag. “I went to work making soups the other evening. Here’s some chicken noodle, french onion and a nice autumn chicken, rice and mushroom concoction. You do like mushrooms, don’t you?”
“Yes!” I said, “there is very little I won’t stuff in my mouth! I’m not a very picky eater.”
She lined up the jars on the counter, smiling, “when you need something to warm your insides pull out a jar, heat it and eat it!”
“Should I freeze them or what? I asked.
“No need; it’s all been processed in my boiling water canner. You don’t have to worry, just put them on your shelf. ”
“How wonderful and what a thoughtful gift,” I said feeling gratitude for having friends such as her!
A few days later, I became twice blessed. A church friend gave me more love in a jar! Beautiful, colorful and flavorful corn relish! Another wonderful reflection of thoughtfulness which reminded me that each of us can light up another’s life through small acts of kindness.