One of my very favorite domestic things to do is my yearly Canning!!!!
I have enjoyed canning for many years now… I began at 18 the first year I moved out on my own, though I had always helped my Mother as a child .. well at least since I could hold a spoon or a knife.
I find it hugely rewarding for myself emotionally to can, freeze and preserve every year. Though I do ponder why do I like this time consuming, messy, sometimes costly ‘art’?
I am physically capable of doing this. I have the knowledge to do this. I desire to do this. I provide a product to sustain my family. I provide something they enjoy eating. I know there are no extra additives or excess sugar in my canning. So why not? I just like to do it!
We, (my hubby and I) have spent the last weekend canning and making jams, jellies and pickles together. Once again I clearly see the dilemma of being an empty nester. Worse, an empty nester with a desire and love for cooking! Oh dear…. think small amounts now Twila…Impossible! Perhaps I could go make new friends to give it all away to!
I was incredibly thankful that my man shared his big strong muscles with me… This year I have to be extra careful with the old back… so he in his infinite love for me …helps me… awwe
This is a time of year that is most rewarding for me… bringing in the garden and storing it for winter. I have mentioned before that Hubs and I have a great relationship in that area!!! Lucky me..
Some of the many things that I find most satisfying about canning….
…The appreciation my family shows when I make them their favorite goodies. The gushing is great, I have to admit. Ya… I’m human, I also need my ego stroked from time to time!
…When there is no one in the room and the distinctive ping pinging of the jars successfully sealing eccho’s to the next room! Whew another year of treasures for the pantry!
…Experiencing the sweet, sweet smell of the fresh fruit as it is prepared and cooked. And sadly the stained fingers!! Strawberry jam smells so indescribably, deliciously, wonderful. The bubbling jams or jelly, splashing and making my stove and floor a mess… Who cares! I’ll clean it later!
I have a confession to make though, I struggled this year making raspberry jam. I seriously missed my mother and father in law, this was the first year I wasn’t making them batches and batches of seedless-ish raspberry jam. It made the nest seem even emptier…. still adapting… clearly!
My hubby and I reminicing about the amazing kosher dills from 3 years ago.
Jerry (hubby) and our buddy Dan were sitting at the island/bar in front of my stove watching me cook. They shared long (fibs….errrrr..) tales and talking Air Cadets, kids and old dates. They insisting these dill pickles of mine ‘had’ to be the best accompaniment for beer in the world!
Crisp, zippy and a little spicy… kind of like me! ha-ha… They darn near cleaned me out of all my kosher dills that night!
Well of course we decided we had to make them again the following year. More in fact than the last… couldn’t run out! That was too hard on the guys’ morale !
So the second year’s quality control test began…
Getting ready to taste those babies, you can imagine our anticipation, after all those fellas had cleaned out of these favorites for so long already!!…
Set stage 2010
MMmm.. washing the lid…prying the seal open… POP! (always a welcome sound effect!)
The fork.. our disagreement of who gets to test these puppies first… Mm mm…a tie… two forks… and a ritual…
Stabbing the tines deep into the cold, crisp greenness of the coveted kosher dills…
Licking our lips, parting our lips,… baring our teeth… drawing the moist, crisp pickle closer, up to our mouths, under our noses, …inhaling deeply, the scent of delicious dill, a hint of garlic, a touch of vinegar… a heavenly scent for the true pickle connoisseur. Simply heavenly.
Placing the juicy pickle between our teeth and biting down. Hard. It crunches… yay! Super crisp. Success? We are momentarily ecstatic… Momentarily… until we roll the pickle further into our mouths. Our lips have now puckered beyond all recognition or a wrinkly old prune and our bodies trembling in a full body shudder… Hair standing on the backs of our necks. Eyes bulging, watering in fact! We franticially spat the cursed bite into a napkin and ponder what the hell went wrong with my lovely kosher dills!
I BOMBED out!! The pickles flopped! This empty nester in all her brilliance decided to make them in pint sealers so it would not waste space in the fridge for the ‘two of us’… small jar… seemed sensible, right? Well I totally forgot to cut the ingredients in half!!!! For heaven sake I had made triple the amount from the previous year!! GAH! An absolutely dumb ass thing to do! Soooo salty and sour and spicy all at once! Oops… lesson learned. Now we wait another whole extra year and no kosher dills… A whole sad year.
Is it time? Small jars for us emptynesters as opposed to the large quart gem jars? I stand before you defeated…I think it is time to transcribe my recipes into old empty nester portions… a sad day… yes a sad day. 2011 crop of dills are not yet broken in to… will advise when ready.. ( and when I can afford security! lol)
I’ll post more about my several
days weeks of canning, some pictures and recipes for you to try out!
It would be nice to know I am not the only one who has made such a blunder. CUZ I feel Dumb!!! What cooking messes have you concockted? This is key … did you get away with it – reputation unscathed? or…Were you caught with your ‘pots’ down?!
enjoy, feel joy, and live joy!