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Finally Canning last night…

March 27, 2012

Last night I finally did the canning I was supposed to do Sunday night.  I wish I could say I didn’t get to it on Sunday because I finished the banana bread I was supposed to make and got all the laundry done.  Truthfully, I got the laundry washed and dried and about seventy five percent put away.  There is still one full basket of clean clothes I am avoiding looking at in the corner of my bedroom.  And the banana bread never got made, either.  In fact, one banana disappeared yesterday morning (presumably my daughters decided it would be perfect for breakfast) so even if I had been motivated enough to get to it last night, I couldn’t have.  Truthfully, I was glad for the excuse not to make it at that moment.  I sat down in exhaustion at a quarter after ten with pineapple still boiling on the oven and the last thing I wanted to do was throw ingredients into my stand mixer.  I find myself wondering why I had the most energy when I was young and relatively free of responsibility, and not now–when I need it most.

Nevertheless, the canning went well last night.  I have picked up a few tricks in the past few weeks that have helped a lot:

First, getting all that water boiling hard for the water bath takes forever.  I’ve started getting it boiling right away and if I’m not ready for it by the time it’s ready, I just back off the heat a bit until it’s at the boiling point.  That way it takes only minutes to get it back to a hard boil.  It’s probably a bit energy wasteful, and it definitely heats up the kitchen, but it keeps me sane.  So I’ll keep doing it.

Second, assembly lines were created for a reason.  The more I can focus the prep work into an assembly line, the better the work seems to flow. And thus, it keeps me sane.  I’m not sure it makes it faster–it may possibly have made it slower tonight–but I did all my chopping first so I could get it over and done with.  Thank you, Henry Ford.

Third, no matter how lazy I feel, I absolute must get this sort of thing done over the weekend.  Monday is a brutal day to come home from work, put the kids to bed and then embark on a labor intensive project.  Sewing I can handle.  Mass quantity canning, not so much.  Although, I’m pretty pleased with the almost thirty pints of pineapple I have ended up with in the last week and a half.

Overall, I am loving canning just as much as I expected to, if not more.  My husband gave me a funny look when I asked for canning supplies for Christmas, but at the same time I think he’s beyond the point of real amazement when I ask for such things.  I am still working off an awesome starter kit from Ball that works with your existing stock pot.  It was a fraction of the cost of getting a real water bath canner, and it has worked wonders for smaller batches.  It handles three to four pints at a time, which was about my limit at a time for strawberry or salsa making.  But if I am going to regularly be doing insane things like ten pineapples at once, I will definitely have to upgrade my equipment.

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From → canning

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