Saturday, July 31, 2010

For keeps

4:51 p.m. Today's project was to preserve tomatoes and apricots in my pressure canner. The Roma tomatoes came from our garden, and my friend Charlotte brought over a bag of apricots she had received from another friend. She'd already made her pie fillings so she knew I'd take some--I hate wasting food! My Depression-raised parents always said, "Waste not, want not," and Proverbs 18:9 says, "He that is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great waster." (KJV)
So it was a day of sterilizing jars and lids in boiling water, assembling the hand-crank tomato processor, washing equipment components in several sinksful of suds, peeling both fruits, and making 1- 1/2 quarts of sugar syrup for the apricots. The excess sugar syrup is already flavoring fresh grapefruit-lemonade from our own trees, and most of it will be used in lemonade for our "August Party" a week from Sunday. Might as well get a lot of "foodkeeping" projects done at once! As Jesus pointed out in regard to seizing the moment to harvest souls for the Kingdom, "Work while it is day, for the night comes when no man can work." (John 9:4)

I doubt that I broke even financially when you consider the gas used by our oven, the electricity used to freeze the ice for removing the apricots' peels, and the hours of effort I expended if a homemaker's hourly wage can be computed! [But can you really put a price on the satisfaction a person receives from their hobby?] Of course, the tomatoes are a wildly renewable resource at this time of the year--no matter how many I take to give away wherever I go, we have tons!! Same with green beans, which I process for the freezer. And our first dozen ears of corn are filling out nicely. I've canned the tomatillos into salsa, made pickles with our cucumbers and chiles, and still there's plenty of the summer growing season left. God's bounty is amazing!! He is faithfully fulfilling His post-flood covenant with Creation in Genesis 8:22:
"While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease."
He who keeps the sun, moon and stars in place (Colossians 1:17), holds the universe in the span of His hand, keeps the seasons on schedule, and keeps the air flowing in and out of my lungs, is also able to keep me in His love and keep me saved and belonging to Him!

As I apply good housewifely stewardship of the fruit of God's creation by perserving and keeping my harvest for later times of need, God is keeping me, body, soul, and spirit! I love the benediction of Jude 24-25:
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever,

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