It is a long weekend, here in Ontario, Canada.
And what am I doing on this long weekend?
Well, Saturday morning I wanted to visit farms. Attila was game. I found information about local farms on the internet, what little there was, made a list, and off we went. Well, that didn’t go well. There was a bad accident on a nearby highway, it was closed, and the traffic was routed through our little urban area. What would have been a 15 minute drive into the country took two hours to get a mile or so to the grocery store, and we dealt with a lot of rude, frustrated, aggressive drivers who kept trying to take short cuts on dead-end streets.
Since we were stuck in traffic so close to the grocery store, and so cut off from getting to any farms, we decided to shop. All I wanted was a bottle of lemon juice. What we walked out of the store with was two 25 pound boxes of Roma tomatoes, a 20 pound box of Red Shepherd peppers, and six pounds of onions.
And that sealed my fate!
By noon Saturday Attila and I were chopping and dicing vegetables; cleaning and sterilizing canning jars and rings and lids; setting up the food mill; setting up the pressure canner; and the canning began. This is only practical on weekends, when the hydro is affordable.
Attila helped by chopping onions, celery, and garlic. I cleaned and sectioned the 50 pounds of Roma tomatoes, then cooked them down so that Attila could put them through the food mill. Wow, all that work described in one sentence! I also cleaned and diced 20 pounds of peppers. Then I cooked the first batch of Tomato Red Pepper Sauce, and pressure canned it in 500 ml jars. The yield was 23 jars. Then I made a second batch of Red Pepper Tomato Sauce. It was after 1:30 a.m. by this time, and I was wearing out. So I left the second batch on the stove for the night, and hit the hay. I had been on my feet since noon, and was feeling a bit tired.
At 6:30 a.m. this morning I was wide awake and thinking about that second batch of Tomato Red Pepper Sauce sitting on the stove. Up and at em’! Still in my pajamas, I turned on the stove and got the sauce cooking again. Well, here I am, writing this, it is 8:14 p.m., and I am still in my pajamas, apron over all, finally sitting down for a break!
By 11:00 a.m. this morning I had canned an additional 21 500 ml jars of Tomato Red Pepper Sauce, and by 7:00 p.m. I had canned 12 one litre jars of tomato sauce.
That makes a total of 44 500 ml jars of Tomato Red Pepper Sauce and 24 1 litre jars of tomato sauce. Two days of very hard work for me. I love my pressure canner!! I am pretty fond of the food mill too.
Two very busy days. It has been a long time since I sat down and felt relief in every cell of my body. Working that hard isn’t a bad thing, when you don’t have to do it, when you want to do it, when you are so engaged with what you are doing that the time disappears, and discomfort means nothing at all. I enjoyed myself immensely today!
Some people run marathons, run rivers, dirt bike… me, I pressure can.
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Sunday 2 September 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Dew point: 21.8°C
Wind: SW 16 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“To the soul, there is hardly anything more healing than friendship.”
1779 – 1852