Hot water bath anyone?

Melissa SandfortAgricultural Anthropology

At first glance, this looks like a funky cookie cutter. Or a toy soldier’s hat. Or a broken top off of a flour sifter. But the technical term for it is a jar lifter. (I know, I’m using big words.)

Another one of the joys of canning was the hot water bath. Unless you had hands of steel for removing glass jars from scalding hot water, you had to use one of these to grab hold and pull it out. I’ve always been the one who uses luke-warm water for washing dishes, so I’d opt for the jar lifter.

My grandmother spent the better part of a day last week cutting pumpkins, spooning out the insides, slicing it into pieces, pureeing it and then making crustless pumpkin pie, which my husband swears is better than pumpkin out of a can. I’ll take his word for it. All I know is that canning and preparing food when my grandmother was young was a chore, to say the least. I’m so thankful for our plentiful food supply and the convenience it provides working moms today.

Until our next history lesson …