Projects

Projects!

They can be horrendous.

The garage roof was one of those horrendous projects. It began in late June, and the exterior portion of the project was completed on Sunday, August 26th. And it was a two-day push, those last two days, all day Saturday and all day Sunday, to complete it. Of course, there are a few little things that aren’t done, but that is the way of it with Attila’s projects. He is a person that always leaves a little bit… in the pot when serving food, in a project that he is working on. I think it is one of the reasons he likes to work alone, someone else might want to finish a job completely. Like me, I like to finish jobs completely and forget about them. Blasphemy!

The garage roof project was undertaken by Attila, and it overtook him. In his absence from daily life, I took over and fulfilled all the day-to-day tasks that he usually takes care of, in addition to my own day-to-day tasks. Because they aren’t my tasks, they aren’t setup the way I would do them, so they were challenging. I kept Attila’s routines going, because I knew that he would experience additional stress if I changed things on him. So project support was a long and tedious process for the garage roof project.

The exterior of the garage roof project, although it probably needs wee bits of tweaking to completely finish it off (like painting the caulking), is done to my satisfaction, as well as Attila’s. The new roof, wall, and window, keep the weather out, and it all looks lovely.

The interior, well it is only my concern in that when Attila moves all his materials and tools out of the basement, I will reorganize the basement to make everything stored there accessible to me. No more asking Attila to move heavy objects so that I can fill the flour canister, or fetch a few mason jars and lids. No sir, I’m going to go and get what I need, when I need it!

Not all projects are horrendous.

This past weekend I tackled a project that was not horrendous, was rather enjoyable, but exhausting.

I canned a half bushel of Roma tomatoes. They were available in half bushel boxes at the local grocery store, were grown in Ontario, and were $7.97. The produce from that particular grocery store, the one we usually visit, does not last long. It is cheaper for a reason, and that reason is that it isn’t the freshest produce available on the market. I needed to start canning as soon as possible.

Saturday morning Attila took the time to carry my All American Pressure Canner up from the basement. I spent an hour or so reading the manual again, since I haven’t pressure canned for quite some time. I also researched canning tomatoes, and finally found a good guideline offered by the Ohio State University Extension, called Canning Tomato Products.

I started just after 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning, and was taking the last of the dozen one-litre jars out of the canner just before 10:00 p.m. Saturday evening. I was on my feet the whole day, washing, trimming, dicing, boiling, straining, cooking, sterilizing, bottling, and finally, canning. It was a lot of work, and those jars, filled with lovely tomato puree, lined up on the counter, looked wonderful to me!

Pressure canning commands a lot of respect, mistakes can be dangerous. I took a certificate course in pressure canning before I did it for the first time, so that after months of preparation I felt I was able to proceed safely. It was nerve-wracking, the first few times. This time I found it a lot less intimidating, after preparing by re-reading the manual and reviewing my notes. It went smoothly.

Freezing tomato puree is a lot easier, but that requires a lot of freezer space, which we don’t have. Canned goods can be stored on shelves in the basement.

Another project, a much smaller project, I set for myself, was to begin a binder of Instant Pot recipes that are low-sodium, low-cholesterol, tasty, and easy to prepare from ingredients we keep in the house. It is easy to reduce the sodium and cholesterol in a recipe, but that usually results in a far inferior taste.  My small collection are those recipes that still taste good after reducing the sodium and cholesterol, at least to our low-sodium adjusted palates. I have about six recipes now, taken from online publishers, then altered to make them fit within the sodium and cholesterol limits of my diet. I had to order some page protectors from Amazon, to keep my printed pages in. Uncovered pages have a way of getting splattered.

One recipe I am currently working on is Tuna Noodle Casserole. I have tried several recipes, and none of them offer desirable results. The latest recipe calls for adding milk to the Instant Pot before pressure cooking. Well, it burned, I knew it would. BUT what I didn’t know was how much flavour was added to the dish when the milk caramelized.

I wasn’t in the room watching the Instant Pot when the burn warning first came on. I discovered it later. When I did discover it, I did a Quick Release of the pressure, then lightly scraped out the mixture into an oven proof dish, and transferred it to the oven to finish cooking, which didn’t take long. The taste of the casserole was amazing! I am thinking of trying it again, while watching the Instant Pot constantly for that burn warning, then immediately doing a Quick Release. Then, if the there isn’t too much burning on the bottom, Saute to deglaze the pot, and stir while cooking for several minutes to completely cook the noodles. That is my plan at the moment anyway, working towards getting that flavour!

So those are my little projects.

Attila’s first non-reno project was to pickle some hot red peppers from the garden. He wanted to experiment with making pickled peppers with substantially less salt. The taste test results will be in by next week!

Life is about to evolve here, there are no more high pressure projects on the immediate horizon, and perhaps not on the horizon at all, if we decide the house is fine as it is. It is unlikely the renovation projects will cease altogether, and that after a long break after the garage roof project, we will begin to think about other projects, all of the low-key, at least low-key for us. Things such as building stud walls in the basement, insulating and drywalling; extending the back porch; rewiring most of the upper floor of the house; new siding on the house; a new metal roof on all buildings; none of these things, or others on the long list, is crucial. If they don’t get done, well they don’t, we will survive.

Worldly

Weather

29°C
Date: 4:00 PM EDT Tuesday 28 August 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 28.8°C
Dew point: 23.2°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: WSW 31 gust 45 km/h
Humidex: 39
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”
Will Durant
1885 – 1981

This one didn’t just speak to me today, it shouted!

Nobody Grows Food Anymore

Well, that is what it seems like to me. I grew up in Niagara, with gardens and orchards all around. We grew and raised some of our own food, mostly fruits, chicken, pork, and beef, and purchased locally grown vegetables by the bushel basket, for canning and freezing. There were reasonably priced fresh produce stands everywhere. Now fresh produce is considered an “artisanal” food, and the rest, I don’t know what the rest is. I have to wonder, when a McDonald’s employee was thrilled to tell me they use “real” cheese… there is another kind of cheese? What has happened to our food supply!

On Wednesday I drove out to a nearby farm and purchased a bushel of tomatoes, seconds, for making chili sauce. While I was at the farm I purchased a pumpkin and a squash as well, all grown on the farm that was selling them. I have purchased tomatoes, peppers, and onions from this farm before. This year all they had was tomatoes, squash, and pumpkins, and the farm is for sale. The work is too hard, and the profit isn’t providing a brand new house and car, just the serviceable 3 bedroom farm house, the pickup truck, the tractor, and other equipment. I guess I will have to look for somewhere else to find tomatoes, and peppers, and onions at reasonable prices. We can grow some of what we need, but not all. I cannot afford “artisanal” fresh vegetables for canning, nor do I want to purchase the bred-for-shelf-life varieties of vegetables sold in the grocery stores, tasteless wonders that look like vegetables but taste like nothing.

I wish that the farmland in Ontario was used to grow food and not wine grapes. Wine is great I guess, but if you are hungry it isn’t going to keep you healthy. “Who needs food, we will just drink wine”, sounds like hedonistic fun, unless you really have to do it.

I am waiting for the comeback of local fresh food at affordable prices. Eventually all the baby-boomer wealth is going to fade, the market for artisanal priced items will shrink and hopefully the farms will return to growing local food for local people.

It has been a busy week for me, quite unusually so.

On Monday Attila ordered the 3″ crush run stone to be delivered to the Rideau Camp on Tuesday. That meant that Tuesday morning I was up and out of the house bright and early. It was arranged that I would meet the truck at the Camp, show the fellow where to dump the first load, and pay for the two loads. Of course, it didn’t go exactly to plan. When I was about a half hour into my drive I received a cell phone call, the truck was already at the Camp. So I carefully described to the driver where we wanted the stone dumped, and told him I would be there in about a half an hour. When the cell phone rang I was driving, and so missed the call, waiting until I found a place to safely pull off the road to return the call.

I arrived at the camp to find the stone exactly where I had asked that it be dumped. I waited in the quiet of the early morning for the fellow to return with the second load. He backed into our long driveway with no trouble whatsoever, got out of the truck to discuss the placement of the second load with me, dumped it, and then came over to the picnic table while I wrote him a cheque for the delivery. He seemed amazed when I said that Attila and I would be spreading the stone ourselves. “Well,” he said, “that size is hard to work with, good luck to you!”

After he left I puttered about for a few minutes and then headed right back home.

On Tuesday evening Attila and drove back out the Rideau Camp when he got home from work. He brought three plastic bushels with him, filling all three with stone to bring home for the French Drain. We shovelled and raked an infinitesimal quantity of stone into a low area, but soon tired, and decided to call it a day and headed home.

Yesterday, after I purchased the bushel of tomatoes, I struggled to carry them into the house from Tank. I washed, blanched, peeled, chopped, and simmered the whole bushel yesterday. There were enough tomatoes to fill a 16 quart pot to the brim. It is a wonderful Paderno soup pot, and I was able to simmer the tomatoes for hours on a very low temperature. At bedtime I turned off the stove, put the lid on the tomatoes, and turned in. The pot was still hot in the morning!

One bushel of tomatoes, peeled, chopped, and set to boil in a 16 quart stock pot. I couldn’t lift this thing if I tried!
Tomatoes 2016

This morning I washed 5 1 quart mason jars and one 1 ½ quart mason jar, ladelled the stewed tomato into them, and put sealer lids on them. The lids popped as they cooled. These will go into the freezer for use this winter.

Into the tomatoes remaining in the pot, about 20 cups, I added 4 cups of chopped onion, 4 cups of chopped celery, 2 cups of chopped sweet pepper, 6 chopped hot peppers, 1 ½ cups vinegar, 2 ½ tablespoons of salt, 3 cups of brown sugar, and a gauze “bag” with pickling spice tied into it. This simmered on stove all day long, the wonderful aromatic scent filled the whole house, it was wonderful!

After dinner more canning jars were washed and rinsed, then the hot chili sauce was ladled into them. I decided to use hot water bath canning for the chili sauce, as I had added quite a bit of vinegar to the chili sauce, making it acidic enough to be safe for the hot water bath canning technique. Once all of the chili sauce had been bottled, the hot water bath canner was filled with water and set to boil. The canning lids were placed on the jars, the rings tightened finger tight, and into the canner went the jars. It took almost an hour for the water to come to a boil, and then 20 minutes more to process the jars.

Our bushel of tomatoes yielded 6 ½ quarts of stewed tomatoes, and 9 quarts of chili sauce. The total cost was roughly $20, including the cost of the fresh lids, and two full days labour, by moi. The advantages are that there are no preservatives in the stewed tomatoes or in the chili sauce, and both are preserved in glass jars, so no leachates from plastic lined cans, or metal cans. The enamel lids do not touch the contents of the jars.

Truth be told though, I am tired after two days in the kitchen transforming a bushel of tomatoes into frozen stewed tomatoes and chili sauce. I would rather buy canned tomatoes than stew my own for freezing. But the frozen stewed tomatoes were a by-product of the project. The real goal was the chili sauce, it is so good! I plan on having it on pasta for my lunches this winter, and we always have a generous dollop with our grilled cheese sandwiches, or the occasional Jamaican patty.

Unfortunately I only have two more recipes worth of pickling spice left. All of the commercial pickling spices contain preservatives, so they are off limits. There is a quest for the best pickling spice recipe in my future, I can feel it coming.

The weather is cooler, but still quite humid. I fear I did not pick the best two days for keeping a stock pot on the simmer in the kitchen. It has been a rather uncomfortable two days. Attila tells me to turn the air conditioning on, but I just cannot do it! It just seems wrong to me that I heat the house up using electricity to simmer and can, while trying to cool it down using electricity. I kept the windows open all day yesterday, and all day today. I will turn the air conditioning on when the last jar is lifted from the canner and set on the counter, and the boiling water has been sent down the drain. It should cool down outside tonight, so that the air conditioner won’t have to work too hard, but it will remove all of this clammy humidity.

Well, that is what as been keeping me off the streets and out of trouble for the last few days!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Thursday 22 September 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 20.9°C
Dewpoint: 18.3°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: SW 7 km/h
Humidex: 27

Quote

“I didn’t mind getting old when I was young. It’s the being old now that’s getting to me.”
John Scalzi

You don’t really understand what aging is until you do it yourself.

Canning Beans

Although the weather is springlike, it is early springlike. The wind is strong and nippy, even though the sun is strong. I am still wearing a wool scarf, a wool hat, gloves, and a parka to go for my walks. It isn’t the kind of weather to sit outside and relax in the sun! So I have been turning to indoor tasks.

The Chili Beans I canned over the winter were almost gone. We like our beans, and cook all sorts of dishes with them. I decided it was time to replenish the supply. Monday I canned seven litres of Chili Beans. Yesterday I canned 14 “pints” (500 ml jars) of Molasses Beans. It was the first time I had tried canning a full canner of smaller jars, which are stacked in the canner in two layers.

Canning requires a lot of time on my feet. I did very well with it, but yesterday my knee began to complain, and I could feel it this morning when I swung my legs over the side of the bed to arise. Time to slow down a bit I think!

I like pressure canning. It is extremely precise and time consuming, but for those of us who spend our days at home it is not really an intrusive pastime. Like bread making, it requires input at specific intervals, leaving plenty of time for other tasks over the course of the day.

I used the down time during canning to work on one of my web sites. I have finished transferring the data to a new database, which was extremely time consuming. Now I will move on to more specific design elements, like SEO, setting up statistical reports, and forms of linked social media. Always a learning curve with these things, which makes it interesting.

When the web site I am refurbishing is completed, and has gone live, I will turn my attention to another web site that needs a similar update. This should take me right into the summer as far as projects are concerned.

Terra and Lares dropped by yesterday for a short visit before they met friends for dinner. Terra showed me lots of pictures from their recent trip to a Panama resort.

Next week I will be thinking about heading to the country house, so I let Terra know that arrangements will have to be made to transport Diesel back to Terra’s house. They anticipate that Diesel is not going to be pleased about the change of residence, from being an “only cat” to one of three cats, and two dogs. I wish him well, he has been such a great companion. He cannot come north because he does not tolerate car travel well, even a short trip disorients him for quite some time. A five hour drive might do him real damage. Perhaps he will visit me again when I return to the little house for the bug season.

While Tera and Lares were here I asked Lares to assist me by fetching the ladder, accessing the attic, and bringing down the live trap. It was empty! Hooray! I had decided against trying it myself, while I am here alone. If something happened I would be in a right pickle.

An enterprising squirrel has chewed through the exterior roof trim just under the roof, and is building a nest in the roof. Sigh.

Behind the houses, across the street, there was a small forest. A developer owns the property and decided to build a seniors complex there. Last fall he brought in fellows with chain saws and a giant chipper. The forest is gone. Right now there are diggers and dump trucks working over there. Progress. Maybe, but the squirrel does not think so. She has decided to move in with us, since she was displaced from her natural habitat.

We will not share the house with a squirrel, and her planned family. She has to go. I will bait the live trap, and keep an eye on it. If I catch her, I will take her to a forest far out in the countryside, and wish her luck in her new life. Then, when next Attila visits the little house in the city, he will nail a piece of metal across the area where she chewed through the 2″ thick boards.

We seem to have a distinct animal theme here at the little house in the city! They are our most frequent and avid visitors!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City
0°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 8 April 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -0.3°C
Dewpoint: -10.6°C
Humidity: 46%
Wind: NE 22 gust 32 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Country House
0°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 8 April 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -0.1°C
Dewpoint: -13.6°C
Humidity: 36%
Wind: E 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -3

Quote

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.”
Joe Ancis

Canned Beans

The web site I designed as a donation has been reviewed by the congregation, and others, and only one edit was needed, the addition of a link to the links page. I am very pleased with the site, and very glad that the church members feel the same way. Yesterday I prepared a document to send them, to hand over the site, with all the passwords and details they will need to administer it ongoing. It has been a good experience thus far.

I submitted my receipt for yesterday’s physiotherapy, and found that they are requesting an audit. I don’t have my printer/scanner here at the little house, so I used my MacBook Air and Photo Booth to take a photo of the receipt, then uploaded it to the insurance people. I hope there isn’t a problem, because I am staying at the little house, with the little house address, which isn’t the address on the insurance account, they have the country house address. It will all work out in the end, but I am hoping that I don’t have to jump through hoops to get it all sorted out. Then again, they may just accept it as is. Who knows. I am expecting a problem with it though, because it is unusual to have two addresses, and corporations HATE the unusual. The unusual is not yet punishable by death here in Canada, only by endless contention.

Today I am canning beans. Attila has eaten all the home canned beans at the country house, so I need to replenish his supply.

Yesterday I purchased 8 small stainless steel condiment cups, for $2.50. I washed and dried them, then set out 7 of them, and into each of them I measured the correct amount of herbs and spices for one jar of canned beans. Now, when I need to add the herbs and spices, all I have to do is pour the contents of one condiment cup into the jar. This will greatly simplify the preparation for canning.

This morning I chopped garlic, red peppers, and onions for the project. I distributed the chopped vegetables on 7 saucers, ready to be added to the canning jars.

All ready! Here are the condiment cups containing the measured herbs and spices, and the saucers with the chopped red pepper, chopped onion, and garlic.
ChiliBeans3Mar2015

The mason jars were lined up on the kitchen counter, ready to be filled. I measured the beans, one cup at a time, into a strainer, washed them, and added them to the washed mason jars. Then I added the vegetables, and herbs and spices to each jar. While I was doing all that I had a one saucepan on the stove heating the jar lids and rings, another boiling the water to be added to the beans, and the pressure canner on the heat with 3 inches of water in it.

The lineup! Here are the mason jars, containing the measured beans, the herbs and spices, and the chopped vegetables. Time to fill them up with boiling water, leaving a one inch head space.
ChiliBeans3Mar2015 2

After filling the jars with boiling water, the lids were carefully placed on them, and the rings screwed on “finger tight”. Then I lifted the hot jars carefully into the pressure canner, placed the lid on and levelled it, carefully screwed it down, and turned on the heat. After ten minutes of venting, I put the weight gauge on the canner and settled down at the kitchen table to review the manual once more.

I like to stay in the kitchen when the pressure canner is doing its thing, I like to keep an eye on it, ensure it is maintaining the correct pressure, alert to any problems. Today I got a good seal on the lid, which is an improvement over my earliest attempts to pressure can. That little dab of olive oil around the rim of the pot works wonders!

While I was whiling away the 90 minutes that it takes for the pressure canner to work its magic, this little video made me laugh out loud. It is a comedy skit, but I do believe delightful things like this can happen, when you least expect it!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City

-18°C
Date:6:00 AM EST Tuesday 3 March 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -17.7°C
Dewpoint: -19.2°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: N 2 km/h
Wind Chill: -19

Country House

-22°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Tuesday 3 March 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
-22.0°C
Dewpoint: -23.7°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: ESE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -27

Quote

“Do not believe that he who seeks to comfort you lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life has much difficulty… Were it otherwise he would never have been able to find those words.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
1875 – 1926

Pork n Beans

Friday, October 2, 2014

I am sitting on the back verandah at the little house in the city. It is 8:00 a.m., I have already chatted with Attila, enjoyed a cup of coffee, paid the dreaded bills (ouch!), and put the blue box out to the curb for pickup. While taking out the blue box I was struck by what a beautiful morning it was, and decided to write outside on the verandah, while the sun shines. There are no mosquitoes, no black flies. This afternoon the clouds are supposed to roll in, and stay for an extended visit. Plenty of time then for indoor pursuits.

Attila was sounding very tired this morning. He does not take enough time away from his many projects, when I am not around to insist on his spending down time. Pacing yourself is such an important part of life, the importance of which was demonstrated to me by my Grandpa. He was installing a new metal roof on his house. During his project I visited frequently, and observed that he would do a bit of work up on the ladder, high in the air, then come down and rest for a bit, read, have a cup of coffee. Back up he would go when well rested, until he tired a wee bit, and back down he would come. This went on for the entire project.

He was in his eighties at the time, and slowing down, but still spryer than most young people. Have a look at the house, that is the roof my Grandpa put on the house all those years ago, and would accept no help from me!

Here it is October already! Flocks of geese fly over the house frequently, honking farewell as they go. Some of the trees have completely shed their leaves, while others are still clothed in green. The air is fresh and clean, pushing the clouds along impatiently, nudging the trees, sighing through the Spruce beside the verandah.

Cicadas. They usually herald the end of summer, beginning sometime in August, singing at dusk. Not this year though, not a single song has been heard at the country or the city house!

Credit Cards

I have been thinking about something Terra said yesterday, when she dropped by during her lunch break. We were talking about the curse of credit cards, and she observed that “you can’t live without debt these days”. I informed her that you certainly could live without credit card debt. She informed me that no one does. I could not argue with that!

Credit card debt seems to be accepted as “normal”. Not by me. I regard it as a blight, a disease, something to be cured of. Attila and I have some debt, related to housing. Until that debt is gone we will be thinking every single purchase through, weighing the pros and cons. We make choices that others would not, and that is to be expected, variety is the spice of life. In my view everyone has the right to create their own priorities, in how to save money, how to spend it, and how to handle debt. Credit card debt is a choice.

Terra stopped by twice, once before she headed off to work, and once during her lunch break. What a welcome bit of cheer she brings. She does most of the talking, telling me about her “day” at work, funny stories, sad stories, stories that make her angry. I listen, occasionally commenting. This one sided “conversation” nourishes us both. She is heard, accepted, and I am entrusted, blameless. She seeks no action from me, no solutions, I offer none. I do throw in the odd comment to challenge her, and she usually rejects this input, in the moment. What I notice is that, much later, she has thought over what I had to say, made it her own, incorporated it into her life in her very own way, and made good use of it. This is very satisfying, and affirms my hope for the species.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cloudy skies and rain today. The temperature fell from 15C in the morning, to 11C in the afternoon. Fall weather has arrived.

The morning view from the breakfast table, dreary, and yet beautiful.
RainyOct2014

After chatting with Attila, I considered the day as I sipped my morning cup of coffee. Cooking and canning, yes, that is how I decided to spend my day.

First, a batch of basmati rice was cooked in the microwave. While that was cooking, a quart of fresh mushrooms were sliced. A generous few tablespoons of olive oil were added to a large saucepan, and when that was heated, in went the mushrooms. While the mushrooms cooked, four small onions were diced, then added to the saucepan. The mushrooms and onions cooked until there was some browning on the bottom of the saucepan, then the heat was turned off. The cooked rice was fluffed and made ready to be added to the mushrooms and onions. As the saucepan cooled, it deglazed easily, the rice was added, and all was stirred well. Into a large bowl it then went, was covered, and refrigerated for future meals. This mixture will be heated with a generous teaspoon of dried garlic and pepper herb mixture added. This is one of my favourite meals.

Then it was time to peel apples, for another apple crisp. The recipe used is quite good, but this apple crisp is meant as a breakfast food, not as a dessert, so the sugar and fat will be reduced to half, and the salt omitted. This apple crisp also makes a healthy snack, particularly when accompanied by a cold glass of milk, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or in the evening.

After lunching on mushrooms and rice, and a small portion of the Apple Crisp, one has to try these things out while they are at their peak, it was time to ready the kitchen for a pressure canning session.

Beans in tomato sauce were on the roster for today. Using the recipe from The National Centre For Home Food Preservation, I made the sauce, filled the jars with beans and sauce and boiling water, placed the lids on finger tight, and got the pressure canner going; of course following my manual and all the necessary steps and precautions. I followed the written instructions carefully, and will for quite a while, until the process become second nature. I am one of those people who can discover almost EVERY WAY to make a mistake. This time, I made the mistake of positioning the canner to face the back of the range. It is impossible to rotate the monster once it has water and full canning jars in it. Now, this will have no ill effects on the canning process, but what it does mean is that I have crane my neck to see the reading on the gauge, and cannot watch it from a seated position at the kitchen table. Annoying, and I will not make that mistake twice!

The range at the little house offers inconsistent heat. The entire canning session demands my attention to the dial, trying to balance the pressure so that it does not fall below the required level, or rise above the required level. The heat is turned down, then the heat is turned up, the heat is turned down… you get the picture. It was a long 65 minutes!

I think I may have my siphoning problem beat. Siphoning is when some of the contents of the canning jars ends up in the water in the canner instead of in the jars. This time around, instead of lifting the weight gauge quickly off, it was eased off very slowly, a little at a time, to release the pressure by small increments. No siphoning. The jars of beans in molasses sauce are still bubbling a bit, even after four hours on the counter to cool. They won’t be touched until tomorrow morning, when I will check the seals, and if the seals are good, store the jars away in a cool dark place until we are ready to eat them. Well, I will probably sample one of them tomorrow!

Nine 500 ml jars of beans in molasses sauce, aka pork n beans without the pork. So far so good, tomorrow I check the seals, and then try some of the beans. I wonder if they cooked enough, they don’t really look like it at this point, but looks can be deceiving!
BeansINtomatoOct2014

I meant to take a walk today, but was too busy with my projects in the kitchen to get away. Maybe tomorrow!

So here it is, the end of another day. Time passes quickly here at the little house in the city, not as quickly as it does when Attila and I are together, but quickly enough. As the light fades, I am happy to observe that the temperature inside the house is steady around 20C, without any heating equipment operating. I am as snug as a bug in a rug. Hmm.. I wonder where that saying comes from.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Friday 3 October 2014
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 17.0°C
Dewpoint: 14.0°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: SSE 35 gust 45 km/h

13°C
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Saturday 4 October 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 13.2°C
Dewpoint: 7.3°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: WSW 33 gust 45 km/h

Quote

“Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.”
Italian Proverb