A Legacy Not Lost….

Towards the end of the summer I was in a panic! I was almost out of canning jars.  In fact I was headed to my local farm store later in the day to get more when I received a phone call. I was butt deep in the garden so I didn’t answer. I eventually called my friend back and he asked if I was interested in some jars.  A distant relative was moving out of her house and moving in with her daughter and needed to get rid of all her jars.  Of course I was on it in a hot minute.

When I arrived I was in awe. The garage was full of shelving that contained years of canned goods. There was pretty much anything and everything there. I told the people who I was and who had sent me. They apologized for the jars being full and told me I’d have to empty them myself.

They started piling the jars in boxes and started loading my SUV until it was completely full and couldn’t hold anymore.


The woman’s daughter asked me what I needed all the jars for. I informed her that I would be using them to can things from my own harvests, as her mother had done. She then asked me to come in and talk to her mother. I walked into the house, now empty of just about everything, and saw a small woman with a homemade dress and a neat bun on top of her head. I introduced myself and told her thank you and what my plans were for the jars.

A petite  elderlywoman rose and walked over to me, she put one hand in mine and the other on my face. She told me, “Thank you for taking the jars and using them the right way. I worked very hard to provide for my family the only way I knew how. They have no idea how much love is in each one of those jars”.

A lump rose in my throat. Again I thanked her and told her I promised I would take care of the jars and their contents and I quickly left.

I took the jars to the farm. Unloaded them into a shed and went through them. If they were too old, I put the contents in a bucket and fed them to the hogs. The rest of the jars were put away for safe keeping and eating.

IF there is a lesson from my story, it is that I realized that my lifestyle of homesteading and food preservation is important, but it’s also my way to show others that I care about them. I care to spend the time and give them the very best. I also realized how important it is to carry this tradition on to others and my own children.  The way was paved for me by many women in homemade dresses and buns doing what they could to make sure their family was cared for and it makes it all worth while.

Peanut Butter Protein Balls – I got balls y’all, no bake balls!

My youngest, a high school freshman, goes through these phases when it comes to her lunch. My oldest was easy, same thing every day. it was always a PBJ on wheat bread. Every.Single.Day.  Not the same with Nan as she has an aversion to sandwiches. She needs a nutritious lunch as she has weightlifting later in the afternoon. I did the Pinterest thing, and found a few things she was willing to try, but I tweaked one of the recipes I found and it’s become a major hit .

No-bake Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Yield: 24


  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (crunchy or creamy, your choice)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 2 small scoops protein powder (I used a vanilla pea protein, but you can use whatever you want, or omit altogether)
  • 1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir together.
  2. Place wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  3. Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and place on parchment paper.
  4. Freeze about 2-3 hours or until set.
  5. Keep in refrigerator.

I love that they make about 24 and I pop 5 or 6 into her lunch.  Nan usually ends up eating 4, and her friends love eating them too! I love that I don’t have to feel guilty about her lunch and that when I open her lunch box at the end of the day they are all gone. I’m working on tweaking this recipe again and working with almond butter as well. They also make a great quick breakfast.  Try it out!