I forgot to post yesterday. I planned to but a trip to the basement put everything else out of my mind. Our house was built at the start of the Civil War. The basement is just what one would expect. The floor is partially concrete but mostly dirt. The walls are stone. the ceiling is low and the heating ducts make walking a challenge. There is one duct in particular that seems bent on our eventual decapitation. On the plus side, it’s drier than most (we don’t get standing water), it’s spacious and it has a good root cellar.

I went to basement in search of wide mouth pint jars. I knew they were there but I couldn’t find them. I detest hunting for what I need. My first thought was that I would just organize the jars by size. How long could it take? All dang day, that’s how long. I first had to remove all the jars from one cabinet, clean the shelves with a bleach/water solution to hit the mildew I found, then replace jars, shelf by shelf, then move on to the next cabinet. I have a lot of jars, more that I actually use but part of my preparedness strategy is to have enough jars to can up the meat from the freezer should we ever lose power for a long time. I am more worried about that since reading One Second After. I have the propane and the stove. I have the wood and the second (and third) wood stove. I have the Tattler lids. I have the jars. I’m good but it’s an awful lot of jars.

As I plowed through the jars I had to address my orphan jars, the ones that I picked up for free or had given to me. I had boxes of them, many with the lids rusted to the jar. Fortunately, none had old food in them but it was still a lot of work to remove each lid and inspect the jar for nicks or cracks. It would have been a lot easier if I had done it when I got the jars but I put it off.

Now in my, “Give A Mouse A Cookie” mode, as long as I was getting the jars all organized I thought I might as well do a good look over of the storage food. I found a few cans that had to go and even a jar of tomato sauce that was might interesting. Of course, there’s no point in doing all this if you don’t go ahead and wipe down all the can tops and shelving too.

While cleaning up and tossing out I found the case of bottles I save for soda making. Hmmm. I haven’t made soda in a while. Up come the bottles to soak while I finish up. I gave the freezer a good clean (outside only) and found myself with a neat basement and a sore back.

I was looking at all these jars and getting inspired. I heard on NPR yesterday that the Texas drought has caused farmers to slaughter a lot of older stock so hamburger is very cheap. I will see a dramatic increase in the next few years but I think I will go to our little market and see if I can get a deal on quality stew beef and ground chuck. I would love to see maybe fifty jars of canned beef just waiting for the next storm or the next day I spend 8 hours down below and really don’t feel like cooking dinner.

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