Thursday, July 1, 2010

The fruits of my labor

Let me say, first of all, that I am grateful to whoever invented central air conditioning. This day would not have been possible without them. Every time I can food in the middle of summer, I gain a new-found respect for being able to stand over something that's blowing cold air directly at me.

My day did NOT go as planned. I woke up at 9, for a start. I guess the kids had decided to sleep in, because M2 had only come in about 10 minutes before asking me if it was time to get up. Most of the time she asks this, it's about 6:45 and my answer is, "mmfffh??" and then she repeats herself, and then I look at my phone and mumble something along the lines of, "Make your bed, change your clothes, and I'll be up in a bit. Go back to your room." It's usually less coherant than that, but she knows the routine.

So I got a "late" start. By 10 a.m., my kitchen looked like this:

In other words, I had things organized but not a speck done unless you count hauling out ingredients and sorting "mini" cucumbers by size - medium and gargantuan.

I felt vindicated by noon, though, when I had these beauties sitting on my counter.

Did I also mention I got two dozen pint jars for this project today? I thought I had overestimated the need for jars, but it turns out I had underestimated the bounty of my garden.

That's the last of the pint jars over there, with the rest of the cucumbers sitting forlornly on the counter. They're now back in the fridge to either be eaten fresh or bequeathed to friends. Any subsequent cucumbrage from my garden will also be sold, eaten fresh, or bequeathed.

It's the least I can do. With two dozen jars of pickles, I don't think *I* will be needing any more of them for a while.
Then I started on salsa.

OK, after I ran to the grocery store and got extra lids for the jars and gloves so I could handle jalapenos, I started on salsa.

Here's where all hell broke loose. I discovered that I am completely incapable of math calculation. As a teacher, I am ashamed. Six pints is the amount my salsa recipe makes. Last year, I made 12 half-pints. In my head, I calculated that to make 12 half-pints again this year (which was about enough to last us), I'd need to make two batches of salsa.

I was... in a word... WRONG. Very, very wrong.

But of course I didn't realize this until I already had every single tomato blanched and peeled.
I also had all the half-pint jars washed and ready. So I took my half-pint jars - 13 of them, anyway -

and filled them with salsa. I don't know why, but those two photos amuse me because it makes it look like all of a sudden the jars just magically filled themselves up with salsa, and that was SOOO not the case. It's not a hard recipe to make, but with all the chopping, blanching, peeling, etc., it is fairly time-consuming.

Then I canned tomatoes, which hadn't originally been on the agenda at all. At least I had the stuff to do THAT. Another store run might have done me in today. I'm very grateful to my children for not letting me make it down to Porter to get peaches. I will be doing that another day, though, and having a jam session. Get it? "Jam" session? Hahahahaaaa... OK lame.

But I will be making blackberry jam, peach preserves, and canning peach halves another day. I'm sure there will be more tomatos then, too.

The one problem I'm going to have?

I'm going to have to get more cans.

1 comment:

Habebi said...

That's a LOT of jars!! Wow! Looks yummy and I can't wait for the preserves. Yummm... I don't envy you the work you had to go through for the salsa, though it looks like it will be delicious! Fantastic job!