The Proverbs 31 woman is my favorite preparedness role model. She works with her hands. She brings her food from afar. She buys a field and plants a vineyard. She strengthens her arms. Her candle does not go out at night. She stretches her hand to the poor. She is not afraid of natures fury because she has dressed her family well. She rejoices in the time to come. I've always been struck by that last sentence - rejoices in the time to come - and wondered at its meaning. And then it came to me. The Proverbs 31 woman was a survivalist. She saw the signs of the times and prepared in the good times for the inevitable bad times. She knew the world was in a constant cycle - times of plenty, times of lean. She gathered during times of plenty so that her family would be taken care of during times of want. She could rejoice in her future because she knew her family would be well clothed and well fed. She even made provisions for the needy and cared for her servant girls. Her husband trusted her.
When I grow up, I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. Preparing for an uncertain future is my training ground. I am learning to care for the needs of my household. I am preparing during this time of plenty for the inevitable time of want.
Canning is the Proverbs 31 woman's best friend. Although our economy is in the tank, most of us still have access to large quantities of fruit, vegetables and even meat to fill jars and line our shelves. Apples fall off trees in abundance and zucchini is given away by the bagful. Both are begging to be put into jars to feed your family throughout the long winter. Venison and elk are equally at home in a canning jar as are chickens. Basically, if you can eat it, you can can it (not really - but mostly).
My latest canning adventure featured tomatoes, green peppers and onions. We love this particular mixture due to the fact that it is perfect in just about every soup, not to mention it is delectable in pasta sauce.
|Peppers & Onions|
|Boiling the tomatoes for about 1/2 minute (so the skins slide off)|
|Plunging in cold water|
|A baby bathtub full of diced tomatoes|
|Adding the green peppers|
|And the onions|
|All mixed together|
|In the jar with salt added|
|Exploded jar and the accompanying mess|
And so, I will continue to gather while in times of plenty, guarding against times of want. I will look at my shelves and rejoice.
|On the shelf|