Tuesday, 18 October 2016


I have had a "thing" for jars ever since my childhood.
Come with me on an adventure to a dank and gloomy cellar.  Lift the trap door over the stairs, flip the light switch and down we go.  Down, down,  into the land of chill and dust and spiders.  Past the egg candling table and the ice box.  Past the coal bin.  Around all the items stored for future use. Through and around the shadows.  There...along the wall, under the tiny dirty coal dusty window....are the long shelves filled to overflowing with jars and jars of preserves, jams, jellies, pickles...... Our mission, and we have accepted it,  is to locate a jar of peaches for a cobbler to be served with supper tonight.  Surely this is motivation enough for any child to brave the horrors of ..duh duh duh duh...THE CELLAR.  The jars are dusty and require a little wiping with the sweater tail in order to see the contents.  This one?  No, once dusted this one glows with the intensity of a ruby.  This one?  No again, this one has the sheen of an emerald.   Ah, here we go, the luster of pure gold.  Peaches.  We can escape the cellar now but a trip down to the bowels of the earth would not be complete without that spine chilling glimpse into the dark of the unfinished section of the foundations.  Here, every spade mark can be seen in the earth where the men, my dad and grandads, hand dug the beginnings of our  home.  For some reason this section always sent strange sensations through my body.  A quick look and then RUN for the stairs, prize in hand, heart pumping.
The peach cobbler would be served with heaps of praise for the adventurer who braved the horrors of THE CELLAR.
Oh but those jars...glinting in the weak sunlight from that dusty window and from the single overhead bulb....jewels.  Precious jewels bought with the sweat and aching shoulders of two women doing their best to provide for their family.  They stood over hot wood stoves in hot weather and I never heard either of them complain.
Some of those jars reside in my cupboards now.  Not used for their intended purpose but still treasured and occasionally brought out to serve as a temporary canister, or to hold pussy willows in spring, sometimes as a coin catchall and once or twice as a tea light holder during a black out.  Those very same jars that held such priceless treasure in my youth.


  1. Love this post. I had a similar fear of the cellar and our cellar was not nearly as creepy as you describe yours.

  2. Another warm cosy nostalgia blanket. Imbued with baking scents. Thank you.

  3. I love neat and tidy rows of jars filled with things too. There was no cellar, but my mum had a cabinet filled with jars of peaches, apricots, and jams and sauces all made in the big open pot with marbles gently bouncing around the bottom to prevent the fruit sticking as it cooked.
    I used to keep jars to hold various things, but gave most away when I moved here, where there is no storage space.

  4. I enjoyed reading this post, thank you.

    All the best Jan


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