THE PANTRY IS FULL...
The days here in Southern Ohio are long and cold and snow blankets both the rooftops and the ground. It has not been above freezing in weeks and the wind howls and calls out it’s warning for me to stay inside by the fire. I am always thankful this time of year for the past summer’s harvest and the rows of canned goods that line my pantry. There is great satisfaction in knowing that I plowed, planted and harvested the food that my family will eat during these winter months.
My mom never canned or put up food when we were little. She worked at the hospital, raised four kids and kept a spotless house. Canning was not something she had the time or the inclination to partake in. I learned to can from my Grandma Rose. I also learned to knit, crochet and quilt from her. As a girl, I used to love to go and stay all night with Grandma Rose on Friday nights. We would eat butter beans and thick slices of homemade bread with fresh churned butter and then go sit close to the cook stove. I can still remember the warmth of that old wood stove as heat radiated out from all sides as she schooled me how to do slip stitches and garter stitches and knit cables.
Several years ago I made the quilt folded and hanging from the quilt rack in the picture. The wash stand below it had belonged to Grandma Rose. It was handed down to my mom, and before she passed away she handed it on down to me. I plan to one day pass it on my sweet granddaughter, Maddie, before I go.
I never walk into the pantry that I don’t remember my Grandma Rose. I am so thankful for the lessons she taught me as a girl, that I later used as a mother and now as a grandmother. To me, a well stacked pantry means I worked hard and prepared well, it means security through a long, hard winter, and it means our cabin will be filled with scents of homecooked meals and home baked bread for many months to come.
It is getting on dinner time. I look around one last time and turn off the pantry light and head back to the kitchen with a smile. Because like my pantry…my heart is full.