Friday, May 4, 2012

Canning Day

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). 


From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I just love canning. One of my favorite thing to can are tomatoes. I have to wait about three months until the tomatoes around here are ripe.

Ruth Dixon said...

"We" have those problems too... Like, no "we" don't need to put the gate latch on the outside, the horse won't get out, or It's okay, "we" don't need any help moving that large item... I have a few friends who I can leave a message for like that and they understand totally...

NancyDe said...

From Beyond, I really need to plant some determinate tomatoes so I can have enough all at once to can. I use so much tomato sauce when I am cooking!

Ruth, funny how many "we"s there are out there. (Yikes - putting a latch on the inside where a horse can reach it is an iffy proposition - I have had horses that could get latches open, if even if they were on the outside!) I do have to say, when my friend went home to feed her significant other (where my husband was), my other half of "we" came home and bought propane -and then went back. They guys are trying to fix the mower deck for our tractor. Somehow this means a lot of work and then a lot of beer.

Pomaika`i said...

Lemon marmalade is so ono! Getting a heap of tomatoes all at once does happen with the determinates - I had about 8 Celebrity bushes going ripe at the same time, but the appointed day of canning was a scorcher, with the a/c out of order [grrr] and not one whiff of a breeze. Real sweat equity!
I'm getting a propane cooktop "real soon now" [not!], and I'll have 3 10-gallon tanks, with a two-way valve, so I can switch from tank 1 to tank 2, taking tanks 1 and 3 in for
filling, so the lug factor is easier, and I ought to be good for a year. At least, that's the plan. I can't wait to get back to cooking on gas.

Faith said...

When people know you well enough, they can read through your meanderings and know how to respond. LOL Sounds like your friend knew to just call you and see.

I've never hauled my own propane, always had it delivered. Then again, your 90 pound tank is a lot smaller than the huge tanks we used to have at the farm. They pretty much filled the back of a pickup truck. But we ran about 1/2 and 1/2 in California. Here's everything is electric because we are lucky to have about the cheapest electricity rates in the nation, due to the TVA system running through all the rivers.

Great job on the BBQ canning. I have never done that. But I looked into it a couple of years ago so I could can outside. Boy, would you LOVE to have an outdoor canning kitchen like I would?


NancyDe said...

Pomaika'i, when we lived in the cabin (you'll have to go back to the first couple of blog posts to read about that) we only had the 9 gallon tanks and we had everything on that - water, stove, oven - we had to fill those once a week. We have the two 90s on a switch so we can switch over when one empties - and until this year, we always filled the empty one right away....

Faith, we should have cheaper electricity - we have all kinds of way to generate electricity on this island - the volcano, sun, even a deep sea water way, but we're still so dependent on oil. It's really a bummer.