Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.
I pull a tattered ziplock bag from the freezer drawer. It’s full of onion skin, carrot chunks, celery leaves, and whatever other vegetable scraps I tucked away in recent months. I dump the contents into a large pot, cover it with hot water from the tap, and set it on the stove to simmer for an hour or so.
I gently place six quart jars of clear, golden vegetable stock in the pressure canner and twist the lid to lock it. I think, for a moment, that I could go to the store and buy stock, and ask myself why I go to this effort, that’s really no effort at all.
I know what’s in my homemade stock. It makes good use of things I’d otherwise throw away since I didn’t get the worm bin going this year. It’s satisfying to see those golden jars lined up the shelf.
Because I can.
The pressure canner hisses and spits, and I keep a watchful eye on the gauge from my vantage point at the dining table where I’ve spread out books and pens and am working on my Bible study homework.
It’s a good way to spend a few hours on a cool and wet Saturday.