This summer, I tended a vegetable garden that consisted of one cherry tomato plant and a pot of chives. Needless to say, there was no bounty. My root cellar is not stocked with my harvest. My freezer is void of any zip-locked bags dated and labelled for future use. Instead there’s a bag of fish guts waiting to fertilize our virtually non-existent garden, a six year old jar of hot buttered rum mix, a bag of edamame used exclusively as an ice pack and 2 hamsters in their “coffin” (a long story involving my daughter and forgetfulness).
But now, it’s that time of year when people all over the country celebrate collecting the last of the bounty planted during the summer’s growing season. Harvest Festivals will feature baskets overflowing with a showy array of fruits and vegetables and mason jars boasting preserves and pickles will be displayed for all to see.
I love autumn! It’s my absolute favorite time of year, despite the fact that it’s a glaring reminder that my nemesis (WINTER) is just around the corner.
Like you all, I learned the seasons in kindergarten. Throughout my following years in elementary school, I helped decorate the hallways with colored-paper autumn leaves, pumpkins, and turkeys followed by Christmas trees, snowflakes, and valentine hearts, then up go the budding flowers, sunshines and butterflies.
Spring, summer, fall, winter – repeat. I really do know how it works.
To date, I have experienced more than fifty winters, so how come this season keeps catching me ill-prepared?
By “ill-prepared” I’m not just referring to my empty pantry. In most cities and suburbs of the 21st century, we have little need for winter preparedness in terms of food. I can find a plethora of fully stocked grocery stores within a 1 mile radius of my home.
Sure, once in a great while a powerful storm is predicted on the news. Everyone rushes to the grocer to stock up. Worst case scenario, if I arrive too late, my choices may be limited, but I won’t starve. I might wind up purchasing whole milk instead of 2%, or a sad loaf of wonder white instead of a sturdy Russian rye. But for the most part, I consider the grocery store to be my well-stocked freezer, pantry, larder and root cellar.
No there are other issues I wrestle with during winter. The blues. A seasonal business. Too much time to worry. But this year. This. Year. I’m going to be prepared. Just you wait and see and watch and read.
Whether your shelves are lined with jars of golden peaches, green beans, jams and jellies from your garden or you bought them at the local grocery store, this is tool you need in your arsenal.
The Chef’n AJAR Jar Opener.
Easily opens jars of all sizes. And it fits nicely in a Christmas stocking.
Because that’s what’s next, right after autumn leaves, pumpkins and turkeys.
Find the ajar jar opener and lots more at
kitchensink is located at 100 e pennsylvania ave in the historic town of roslyn, washington.
Contact via phone 425.443.4788 or email kitchensinkroslyn AT mac.com