Friday, September 07, 2012

The Pressure Canner

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I've had my fill of tomatoes.  Wow!  Even two weeks ago, I didn't suspect that it would be possible to get tired of tomatoes.  Ever.  But sadly, the tomato sandwich no longer calls to me, enticing me, whispering that I should have a second, or a third, or a fourth.

Now the work of continuing to put them up.

Earlier this week I made a huge batch of chili.  BEST chili I've made in years.  I put seven quarts into the pressure canner.  Phooey.  Every single one of them leaked.  The seal on three lids stayed, but I am suspicious of those jars anyway.  Tonight I hauled out one of the jars that didn't seal; after 90 minutes in the canner, the flavor had changed.  It's still perfectly acceptable, but it's not blow-your-socks-off yummy any more. 

When I canned the salsa, I forgot to add the lemon juice.  (These days, the low-acid tomatoes require added acid to ensure safety when water-bath canning.)  So I don't know whether to put those salsa jars in the refrigerator, or whether they will be safe enough in the basement pantry for a couple of months.

I know that it's supposed to be better to can your food than freeze it.  I know canned food is safe even when the freezer fails.  I know it's easier to heat the canned food quickly.  But if I spend hours of work canning, only to botch it up and have the taste go downhill, is it okay if I just cross my fingers and hope the freezer keeps doing its job to preserve my goodies?

Thursday, September 06, 2012


It so happens that, due to the holiday and scheduling flukes, I ended up being off work for nearly the whole week.  My jobless week included church, a trip to visit my mom, lots of tomatoes and canning and cooking, Bible class, laundry, and some schoolwork with Maggie.  And about 20 hours before I was due to clock-in at work again, I realized:

I feel like myself again.  
I have this sense that "me" is back.

I wish I could do something about that.
Thank God I could be a stay-at-home mom and housewife as long as I did.