Andrew just came in and announced he saw his first dragonfly. That must mean summer isn't far away. Yesterday we received about an inch of rain, so hopefully the grass will shoot up and the animals will be out on pasture. I need to get out and weed my herb garden but the soil is still pretty wet. Instead, Jonathan and I took time to figure out just what we have left for canned goods. Since we still live in our basement, we had to store my canned things all over the house. It was kind of like a treasure hunt, and we did find treasure.
Last year our tomatoes didn't do very well, so I wasn't able to can as many as I hoped. I thought I ran out of jars of them about two months ago, but during our hunt we discovered about three big boxes of jars. Wonderful! Now we can have the spaghetti and pizza sauce we really enjoy.
I was disappointed to find a couple of jars of lard that had lost their seal. Instead of trying to guess if the lard was okay I just threw them out. After I was done rendering lard last winter I had heard of a further step to canning it; after getting the lard in jars the rims should be wiped with vinegar to keep any grease from preventing a good seal. There was even one more step -- and that was to place the jars in a warm oven to help ensure a good seal. I need to find someone that knows at what temperature and for how long they need to be in the oven.
I pulled out a jar of herbs that were grown last year, and was reminded once again that herbs are for using and not just collecting. A friend once told me I would remember what various herbs are good for as I began using them, and I think it's time to get busy.