Country Living Series

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Handing out nuggets of gold...

It's funny how blessings happen unexpectedly.

As usual, I've been running short on canning jars. I've been making it a policy to check every thrift store we enter for any jars, and have picked up about three dozen quarts so far.

Then early this week, a lady from our church named Daina called. She had a friend who was helping an elderly woman clean out the junk in her home prior to moving into a retirement center. The friend had found some gallon jars. Did I want them?

You bet! Daina said she'd bring them to church with her on Sunday.

Well, she called later in the week and warned me there were more jars than she anticipated. In fact, I might not be able to fit them all into our car in one trip. No problem, we could leave the excess jars at church and pick them up later.

So this morning (Sunday) as I walked into church, Daina amended her story once more. "Did you look in the back of my truck?" she asked.

"No, why?" I replied.

"There aren't too many gallon jars after all..." she began.

I started to make noises of disappointment when she added, "...but there are a lot of pint and quart jars. Is that okay?"

I stared at her. Okay? Did she just ask if that was OKAY?? It was all I could do to keep from jumping up and down!

We went out and looked in the back of her pickup, and my jaw dropped. It was packed, absolutely packed, with canning jars of all sizes!

And Daina didn't want them. I know this because I asked over and over again, "Are you SURE you don't want them?" But, being a bit older as well as single, she was scaling back and simply wasn't canning like she used to, so she honestly didn't want them.

So there they were, dozens of dusty dirty jars filled with old dead spiders, gleaming in the morning sunshine like nuggets of gold. And she was giving them to me FREE! I felt guilty, like I was taking advantage of someone somehow.

At home, I unloaded them into the barn for the time being, and took a tally. Five gallon jars, six half-gallon jars, 86 quarts, 83 pints. WOW!!

What a total and complete blessing!


  1. Isn't it fun how the Lord provides for even seemingly small things like this? How wonderful!

  2. We stopped at a yard sale Saturday and there was an older lady who was getting out of canning, my wife told her we were just starting-learning how to can, she took my wife into her garage and gave her 2 water canner's, a huge pressure cooker and a bunch of other goodies... She wouldn't let me pay her, so i bought 120 pint & quart jars for a nickel apiece...

  3. Eureka!


  4. Now, Patrice, can you "can" in the gallon and half gallon jars? Or do you just use them for storage and then can in the quarts and pints? How exciting for them to think of you for this blessing.

  5. Save the Canning JarsJune 14, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    Like I always say, some people save the whales but my motto is Save the Canning Jars! Good for you!!!

  6. No, it is not recommended to use half-gallon or gallon jars for canning. The reason is because canning is all about raising the internal temperature of the jars to a high enough degree to kill off microorganisms. Heat cannot sufficiently penetrate to the interiors of half-gallon or gallon-sized jars without industrial equipment. (In other words, a home pressure canner won't work.)

    So yes, the half-gallon and gallon jars are just for storage. I often keep milk from our cow in gallon jars, for instance.

    - Patrice

  7. Idea: One 14 oz box of Cheerios fits in two half gallon jars. Other cereals take similar capacities. Add lids and rings and they stay fresh and crunchy -- especially welcome in humid places.

    Congratulations on your windfall, Patrice, and on having such a good friend. Thanks for your blog and all your writings - love it all!

  8. one word sums it up: SCORE!

    Good for you.....


  9. I have read that it's OK to use gallon and half gallon jars for home canned juice. Easy to circulate the heat in just juice. I'm thinking the same for thin soups like tomato and gaspacho.

  10. God has poured out a blessing on you sister! Have fun and put those jars to use. Bless you and yours.

  11. Another old post I'm just discovering. I am drooling. :)