So I posted on our Facebook page (do feel free to join it if you haven't already, BTW!) that I was going after the jars as soon as the clouds cleared. I jokingly asked if people wanted pictures, and actually got some yeses! So while the clouds never did clear, I went out after these jars - and here's the pics.
Tools gathered - bucket with soapy bleach water, trash,. can opener.
The boxes in the garage:
Yep, that's dried mold. Yep, I wore gloves.
The mystery jars.
What was in the mystery jars - it was purplish-brown, runny, and had this residue in the bottom. The jars were still fully sealed, the rings were tight but rusted, so I threw out the rings as well. As I emptied each jar into the trash, it went straight in the bucket of soapy bleach water.
No mold, no odd spores, so I took the chance and smelled one. Now I know what it was - these jars date from 1999! Let's see if you can guess - I'll reveal it later.
So the jars got washed in the yard, and are now in the sink doing another soak. I regained 12 quarter pints, and 7 half pints.
Amber - of my longer time friends and a follower on Facebook, told me this:
"Don't do it!!!!!! I watched a horror movie as a kid in the early 70's that had jars with an unknown substance in them. As the jars were opened things happened to the people!!!! I remember this movie to this day! I could not been more than 5 at the time!"
Well, that led to this:
Don't worry, that's not sludge from the jar, that's meat marinade - closest we could find in color... the first jar is a jar of pear butter I made a couple weeks ago.
My daughter is a good sport, even if she couldn't stop laughing when I was trying to take the picture.
So, what do you think the stuff from the shed was?