Last night I left a sort of wishy-washy message on a friend's machine, "I am thinking of canning sometime this weekend. You said you wanted to come next time I did something. I am thinking maybe tomorrow, maybe Saturday. Kind of depends on the weather. And how I feel. And your schedule. So, umm, call me." She is just a bit over half my age, so I figured she'd be more flexible than many people.
My husband told me I needed to be more specific - but I knew I didn't have to be. She called in the morning, and it was cloudy and said she'd be over at 9:30. So we chopped and peeled lemons and chopped various peppers. I ended up with 8 cups of marmalade and 4 cups of pickled peppers (two all Jalapeno, two have some Hawaiian chili pepper, too and cilantro). I wish I'd had more tomatoes - my salsa is good, if I do say so myself.
Little De was inspired to bake cupcakes, so she whipped up some yummy chocolate cakes and a tasty but terribly runny frosting. She misread the water - I told her to call it a glaze and let it be. My kitchen smells good.
Unfortunately, the propane tank ran out in the middle. I had to move the whole operation out to the propane barbecue. I would never do that if it were the pressure cooker, but I figured boiling was boiling. I can always reprocess anything that doesn't seal, but so far most of the jars are popping closed.
I sure wish we had decided to refill the first empty tank 6 months ago or so - instead of waiting for both tanks to empty. I say "we" but it wasn't my idea. I am just being nice.... I have no idea what to do for dinner now, since just about everything I have needs at least a little time on the stove top. Neither of the two men able to actually lift the 90 lb propane tanks aren't home (my son and his dad). I could take them to the little store around the corner, but the girl who fills them is even less able to lift them than I am - a 70 lb bag of feed is about my upper limit - I could get them filled, but then I couldn't get them in the car to get them home. Fortunately, this is only a problem once a year or so.
It's worth it, though. Our county literally has the most expensive electricity in the nation - it is worth one day of frustration a year to have a propane cook top. Hauling our own is cheaper than having the big Gas Company tank and having them fill it. I guess it is part of doing for yourself, which is the goal around here. I will find having to milk my own goats/cow and all that stuff a lot more work than going to the store, but it will be worth it. (Notice how I phrased that as a "it will happen" statement.... I get a little impatient when I am told that "now's not the time for a dairy animal" all the time - even if he is right. Someday, someday, someday).