I made strawberry-rhubarb jam last weekend and after I heard the seals pop, tasted some, and realized I wasn’t going to die and the jars weren’t going to explode, I felt a kind of exhilaration, a rush, a total fruity high.
I could can.
I could can things.
I could can things with enough acidity in them to not give me botulism.
Whoa. Life as I knew it changed right then and there, as those seals made their merry little pops. This past weekend, I spent hours in my kitchen, canning 10 jars of balsamic strawberry jam and 6 jars of spicy pickled carrots. My kitchen was about 95 degrees and I was sweating rivers in a bandana and drinking cold beer; it was glorious. (P.S. The balsamic strawberry is amazing — you just might see a Nosh Friday post on it someday in the near future!)
After about eight hours spent cooking in bare feet (all that canning plus making a lemon meringue pie, the batter for a cornmeal cake and the starters for cornbread), I finally realized why my mother always insists on wearing tennis shoes while cooking a lot. My feet were KILLING me.
So I took a shower, flopped into bed completely exhausted, and popped a movie in. Then about a half-hour into my relaxation, I remembered I had two pounds of red currants that I had picked off the stems and rinsed. Worried they might spoil before the next day (because, you know, they were in the fridge and all…), I decided to get up. At 10:30 pm. And make three more jars of jam.
As I stood over the stove, pressing cooked currant pulp through a strainer with a wooden spoon, I said out loud:
“There is something seriously wrong with me.”
Who gets up after hours and hours of canning jam in 80 degree weather in a house with no air conditioning to make more jam? Sigh. Me, that’s who. (My inner self is officially a 90 year old granny who wears lacy aprons and says things like, “Oh, dear me!”)
Any other canning crazies out there? Anyone? Anyone?