Saturday, August 7, 2010

Symptoms and A Remedy

This is a public service announcement from your neighborhood friendly blogger:  If you are experiencing many of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from canning overload disorder...

it feels as if your heart is beating in your feet.

it is difficult to see straight or think straight.

there are lists of ingredients strewn all over the counters and you mutter numbers under your breath most of the day.

your kitchen looks as if a bomb went off in a produce stand.

you're not sure if the popping noises in your head are your jars sealing or your brain coming apart.

your arms are sticky up to your elbows and your hand towel is constantly wet from the gazillion times you've had to rinse your hands to pick up your baby, answer the telephone or brush the hair out of your eyes.

your fingers burn from chopping jalapenos. 

fruit flies have moved in and are reluctant to leave.

you use paper plates at dinner time (something you abhor).

your finger nails are a reddish-peachy color and ragged. 

your lower back aches like you're 8 months pregnant.

your other chores...what other chores?

you're snippy.

your shirt looks as if you should start wearing a bib again.

it's repulsive to think of what to feed your family for dinner so you order out pizza.

you collapse into bed every night (after a cold shower) and see chopped peaches and onions when you close your eyes.

when you've canned or helped can 52 pints of tomato sauce, 60 quarts of peaches, 30 pints of peach salsa (recipe coming Monday), 13 jelly jars of peach jam and 24 pints of regular salsa in a 4 day period.

The remedy is this.  I promise it will make all things better.  As will a good night's sleep and a few days AWAY from that blasted hot canner.

Fresh Summer Salsa (adapted slightly from Simply In Season)
Serves 4-6

6 medium fresh tomatoes (any variety), chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine in a bowl.  Let stand 30 minutes and serve. Pin It


  1. Ok...this may not be the best time to ask for your advice...but I desperately want to start canning and have a blasted glass top you can't can on. For a year I have been reading about buying a burner....buying two burners and using side by side, etc (I can see my house burning to the ground now). Would it be insane to simply buy a new stove with REAL burners instead so I can get started? I'm not emotionally attached to my current stove fyi. I WANT TO CAN!

  2. Ohhhh, but don't those jars look lovely! I hope you survived it! I've had a relapse of my cold (or the worst allergies kicking up their heals) and I feel so unproductive! Then had an emergency phone call at 4:30 am.(had to get up at 6 am). and my peaches arrive today! Hopefully they won't be ready to process until Monday.

  3. Wow! You have really been going at it, no one in your family will go hungry this winter.:) It's a lot of work but oh so rewarding in the end. I'm really looking forward to trying out your summer salsa recipe.

  4. You. Crack. Me. Up.

    And yes, I've experienced the symptoms of canner overload disorder. Especially the one where you feel your heart beating in your feet. Master August knows how to knock the garden cockiness out of us, each and every time. (Not sayin' you're cocky, of course...)

  5. Secret Pepper Person, I'm about to make your day. *I* have a glass top stove. I only use flat bottomed (no bevels underneath) canners and I have had no trouble at all. I've been canning on my stove for 5 years. That's what *I* do. Read your stove's manual and make the decision yourself. I'm just saying, it's possible:-).

  6. Wow, all that canning you did? Simply amazing. So many jars! Just think how great it will be when it's the middle of winter and your still tasting summer goodies.

  7. "your lower back aches like you're 8 months pregnant."

    LOL! I AM 35 weeks pregnant and although not as productive as you are, I have been taking baby steps the past two years towards having healthy foods available for most of the winter. I started with jams, freezing tomatoes/sauce, corn, and leftover greens from the garden. This year I have ventured onto canning peaches.

    I have really enjoyed your blog! Thanks for sharing your simple and easy recipes. Carla L. told me about your blog :)

    In health,

  8. My best friend who cans like ThyHand (an astonishing amount, in my opinion) has a glass top electric stove too.

    You made me laugh with this post! This hard work makes the food taste so delicious in the winter, I think.

  9. I had to laugh out loud at the kitchen canning table photo... Ahhh summer produce bombs... the stuff memories are made of :)

    You may be spinning in circles now... but just think how nice it will be to hear "popping" sounds in January when you are opening all those jars... okay... I'll be quiet now. Keep Calm and Carry On!

  10. What a Simply delightful blog you have! And so I am following! I saw your comment on Lorelies page and thought Id have a Mosey! Your family etas well its so generous for you to post all of your Recipes. Bless you. I had a nice farm and all the trimmings with my X and miss it. But now have a great Brit husband so who can resist?! I miss chickens and all..ach well have traded the country at this point and time for some lampwork and jewellery making. Come on over and visit at my Singingwoods. I know Ill be here alot. Your blog made my day! You know I think tho I dont wish to die Heaven will have such beauty..

  11. Ohh my... I could not have described it better and although the layout of my kitchen is different, mine looks the same!!! except for the play dough mess. My girls decided to make playdough and color it with herbs and roots today. I was walking on top of them all afternoon. I love when they are creative but the winter is a much better time to do such things at my house!

  12. You have me in stitches. I have blender ketchup in the fridge down stairs, just waiting to be finished off and canned. But maybe I should wait, cause I know after I see that peach salsa recipe on Monday I will find myself driving the 1/2 mile down the street to the orchard farm-stand and stocking up. Have any tips on peeling and de-pitting? I loathe it. Thanks for the laugh.

  13. Kelly, As far as tips on peeling and de-pitting peaches goes...I try to can (peel) them when they're nice and ripe (just before they sprout mold, usually- ugh!). I always buy the non-cling peaches- their pits are supposed to pop right out and they usually do- here again waiting until they're ripe helps.

  14. I would add a couple more symptoms:

    Your hips feel like they are going to come out of their sockets!

    You start becoming spontaneously generous and give away food to whoever happens to come by your house because it is *one* less of (you name the food) that you have to deal with!

    I canned spaghetti sauce and green beans and made 5 or 6 salads (in between waiting for things) and dried nectarines this morning and am just sitting down for a few minutes before my beans are done and I need to get the next dehydrator load of nectarines on!

    But at the end of the day, it is a wonderful sense of accomplishment!


  15. Funny! But I feel for you. I only spent a couple of hours today making pesto and preparing edamame to freeze, and my feet and back hurt. One of these days I'll get into canning, too, but not just yet! More power to you!

  16. Great list of symptoms. I have them all.

    My husband commented today, "How much more do you have to do? It seems like you've been at this for weeks straight." Duh, that's because I've been at this for weeks straight. I don't see the end yet . . . but it will come. Won't it??

  17. Why are you so lazy?


  18. Bec, I think you mistakenly typed an "l" instead of a "cr".

  19. Oh, so much of what your wrote had brought back memories for me and made me laugh out loud! I love your blog....simply amazing.


  20. As a kitchen designer... I have such an urge to come in there and give you a suitable work surface along the window wall.... (while still keeping the beautiful windows of course!)

  21. Amen to all of the above! It's so hard to stop when free food keeps coming your way!

  22. this is absolutely how i feel, but it is so worth it to open that can of whatever veggie u want , yummmy, your jars look awesome

  23. love love love this post and it describe me so well.....

  24. I have a question about how you can your peaches. I notice that you put your sugar directly in the jar and then fill with water? I've always made a simple syrup. Your method seems so much easier to me. Can you share exactly what measurements you use? Thanks!

    1. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but this particular year that I tried this method and I wasn't as pleased with it as I had hoped to be. This was a few years ago and I can't remember now the exact problem I had with it, but whatever it was it was problem enough that I've gone back to the simple syrup method. Sometimes the "easier" way doesn't turn out as well as the tried-and-true. And, come on, who doesn't love getting all that sticky syrup all over themselves and their kitchens;-)?

    2. Me? Just kidding. I'm always looking for better, more time-efficient ways of doing things. Time-efficient sounds better than lazy, right? Thanks anyway. One more question. Do your peaches kind of mush or fall apart when canned? Maybe mine are just too ripe when I do them? I just wonder how everyone else's look so pretty.

    3. I'm guessing over-ripeness may be your problem. Peaches are so tricky that way- especially because the individual peaches all seem to ripen at different times! I would say try to catch them just as they are taking on their peak flavor but before they get too soft. It's a fine line, unfortunately , but fortunately you get to do a lot of taste testing in the process:-). If they feel like too much trouble, you could always try nectarines:-). Check my preserving section to read posts on that alternative and good luck!

  25. Oh my. So where do you get your peaches? Or do you raise your own? They cost so much i can't see canning them. But they are good ...

    1. The years we've bought enough to can, we've gotten them from a local orchard. But! We are patiently waiting for our three peach trees to start producing in excess so we can put up some of our own:-).


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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