Thursday, September 1, 2011

It Came Back

I'm suffering from C.O.D. again.  It snuck up on me.  I almost thought that because things were fairly evenly spaced out this summer that I would escape it.  Who was I kidding?

After our tomatoes ended, I convinced myself I was almost through.  I mean, school was starting in a week.  What more could I be expected to do?

Then (just on Monday) a friend called and offered me her surplus of tomatoes.  Then our pears started falling off the tree and needed picking.  Then our neighbor's concord grapes ripened and started calling me from across the way, "Silly neighbor la-dy! We're waiting for you to pick us and turn us into ja-am!"  And so, it all began again.  The mega-clutter, the heat, the steam, the slop on the floor and the counter, the frazzled hair and mind and all the other symptoms returned with a vengeance.

In the midst of it all, I learned two very important things (note I'm learning these things at the very end of the canning season.  Brilliant.).   
One, my kids are old enough to actually be helpful.  Praise.  The.  Lord.  They chopped their little hearts out.  And, two, while goggles are effective, so is setting up a fan right beside you while chopping onions so that the air is blown outside.  I couldn't believe how great this worked.  Forget cutting them under water or whatever other tricks you may have heard.  The fan moves that hot air outside along with all the tear-jerking onion vapor.  Let's praise the Lord again, shall we?!

Once the pears are dealt with, the only major thing left to preserve will be applesauce, but we don't do that until October.

grape jam

So, I'm off to put my canner and large pot on their shelves in the pantry.  The bags of jar rings will be hung on their hooks and the full jars themselves snuggled into place.  The food mill, funnels, and other gadgets will be nestled into their boxes and drawers.  I may actually find my kitchen under everything just in time to hang up my canning cap and put on my school one.  Picture Mr. Rogers changing shoes.  

(Just kidding, I don't wear hats.)
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  1. I felt it all....LOL. My house is still a disaster :-)

  2. You're amazing! -and so inspirational! Just wish the drought hadn't nuked our garden. I'd be working right alongside ya! Right now I'm on a mission to find local peaches.

    BTW... I love that I didn't have to do another page load to read the whole post. You rock!!! :-D

  3. boy am I impressed and I thought I had a busy week take a well deserved rest,feet up back rub,whatever makes Jane a new woman!

  4. Amazing job! And I totally understand the COD. I processed 80 pounds of tomatoes yesterday with more to do today. Oh and my end of the canning season discovery is that I am almost out of jars...and apples aren't even in yet!

  5. Jane - Cannot even begin to express what an encouragement your blog is to me. I count you as a gift from God and pray for you and your family. I am wondering if you have ever substituted powdered pectin for the liquid pectin in your grape jam recipe? Our grape skins are so chewy, well, actually unable to be chewed! So your recipe is exactly what I need - plus, your method retains that beautiful color. Thanks so much for the tips, encouraging words, and the time you invest in sharing via blogging. God is good and He is trustworthy. - Esther

  6. Look at you smiling! Was that taken before you realized what you were in for, or when you realized that you were all done?

  7. What do you do with the pears?

  8. Esther,
    I have not used powdered pectin in my grape jam before. A quick on line search brought up this recipe for grape jam that doesn't use any pectin...

    That was an "after" photo:-).

    Mostly, we eat them out of hand, but if I have enough, I can them. It took me the longest time to figure out when to pick them and how to ripen them. Here's the post where I share what I learned...

  9. Oh the joys of motherhood! Bless you. My kids are all grown but I still can....just way less hectic-ly! Your labor will be greatly rewarded!

  10. Oh my, I'm envious! You're almost done with canning!!!
    I feel like canning season is just starting here in Utah. I'm in the middle of tomatoes right now and have to finish up before we get our first frost-yikes!

  11. I am so with you on the C.O.D. myself : )

  12. I love your comments on canning and gardening. I canned around 700 quarts of fruits and vegetables, jellies etc. with our five children (with my mother's help too) for so many years. Now, hubby and I work at it together. He has streamlined our canning area and NOW we have air conditioning, dishwasher and a great exhaust fan over my basement gas stove Some of our equipment was given to us and other things we purchased. Still canning and freezing things after 60 years. Keep it up, it's worth it!


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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