Canning (Jarring?!)

It’s September and that means one thing – CMT Awareness Month. During the month of September I will be using my blog to play a part in raising Awareness with an “alphabet challenge” – blogging a letter / key word almost every day.  Today is brought to you by the letter J. I hope my month of blogging will help you to learn more about CMT – the most common but least well known hereditary nerve disorder – and me. And I hope this will also help to raise funds for the Charcot Marie Tooth Association to support its efforts to find a treatment for CMT. You can join me in learning more about CMT by clicking onto and of course a donation would be wonderful too!

Well, kind of. Jars and bottles, at least. Today’s blog post is two fold – food related, and also a little something which I am sure just about everyone with CMT has experienced – the frustration of not being able to open a jar (or bottle).

When I was growing up, my mom used September as a month for canning. Pickles, tomatoes – you name it. It was a month to store the bounties of summer, which mom used to have in abundance from her great garden plot that she and dad built using old railroad ties as boundaries.  She had lots of jars and a big stock pot with a rack and handles on the inside to help to lift the hot glass. I remember the smell of vinegar, the oven gloves to handle hot glass.

Heating the jars serves two purposes – first, sterilisation. And second, to form a seal so that the jar is air tight and its contents safe throughout the winter. A properly sealed jar contains treasures – but for a person with CMT this can be a bit of a nightmare. Opening an air tight jar? You must be joking! (don’t even get me started on twist top water bottles!)

Mom had a solution for that too – the under the cupboard mounted jar opener. Man, that thing was so HANDY! She also had a selection of round rubber grippers, to help to get a good hold on the jar tops to try to open them without assistance first. Yep. Mom was stubborn and never admitted defeat to CMT – she just silently and without causing a fuss found work arounds!

Anyway, I have been finding opening bottles to be a bit tougher lately. I’ve contemplated getting one of those under the cupboard openers.


I’m not sure where I would put an under the cupboard opener, since we don’t have hanging cupboards in our kitchen. We just have shelves. So for now I stick with asking DH to help me to open bottles and jars. But I am wondering if maybe one would work under the sink…

Anyway, as we are in September, this year I have embraced mom’s idea that it’s time to bottle up summer and to get ready for the colder darker months to come. As far as the kitchen goes, so far I have made pickled onion and cucumber. This weekend I have plans to make spiced apple and onion chutney. And ever since my friend Richard shared this Washington Post link, I am really looking forward to getting over to my local city farm and picking up a whole mess of tomatoes to do some jars of crushed tomatoes.

On the healthy living front I am preparing for 2015 too. I just had blood work done to help me to fine tune my diet and dial in eating for health, and as far as exercise goes I’ve started back on the bike to build up my base and fitness for 2015.

Just like canning, when it comes to healthy living good preparation can lead to tasty results through the dark months as we wait for the return of next summer!

It’s CMT Awareness Month. Today’s post was brought to you by the letter “J” – jars. You can learn more about CMT and donate to support the search for a treatment for this (at present) incurable progressive degenerative nerve disease at — Thank you!

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