Trial Run

Today I made a trial run at being Suzie Homemaker. I went to the farmers market, went to the grocery store, went to Mountain Feed and then came home. In every store, I had one goal. I was going to can something, even if it killed me. And it was likely something that might kill me. People who know me are wiping away tears of laughter and shaking their heads because they know, I am no domestic goddess. I’ve had a house cleaner for years and when I was single, she did my laundry and dishes, too. It’s not like I couldn’t do those things. I just didn’t like it and I was an adult with a job that pays enough that I could pay someone else to do the stuff I don’t want to do. I was contributing to the economic process. I was drinking pink wine in the front yard reading a book, while someone put away my clean socks. I was happy.

I digress. Where I was trying to go with that is I don’t do many household things and I don’t partake in the traditional American housewife roll. I don’t even know if such a thing exists anymore but with the rising popularity of homesteading, I suspect we’ll see a resurgence of housewives. Maybe more of them will be male. I digress again.

Contrary to popular belief, I can cook. I do cook. I just don’t tell many people about it. Until today. Blogs are for airing dirty secrets, aren’t they?

So, yes, I can cook but canning is a whole different kettle of fish. I’ve read about this stuff. A bad canning job can kill entire third world nations. Darfur has nothing on Botulism. A poorly sealed can will wipe out your entire city block faster than a 30 inch gas pipe in San Bruno. I was terrified. I have three books on canning and I know everything that could go wrong so there was no way I was going to try this unsupervised. Then, like all things, time wounds all heels. Or heals all wounds. Either way, I forgot that I was scared. When one of my co-workers gave me a copy of Better Homes and Gardens, that had a feature on canning recipes, I decided it was now or never. I was going to take myself to a farmers market and get something to can. I decided on strawberry jam and some tomato sauce.

By afternoon I was wrist deep in boiling water. I have bruises, burns and a small laceration. I have sticky strawberry goo that has leaked down between the stove and counter, that I can’t get to, to clean. I have eight half pint jars of strawberry jam. I AM VICTORIOUS! I have mastered the skills of my forefathers (and mothers) without a master to study under. The lost generation has been found again. It turns out the whole generation was hiding in a jar of jam.

I wish my Grandad was still alive. He would think this whole thing is hilarious. He was a master gardener and he and Nana used to do a lot of canning. There were always jars stacked up in all the pantries and cupboards full of summers bounty. They always used to make a jar of pickled garlic for me because they got tired of me opening the pickles and taking dumping them out to get to the cloves of garlic below.

Tomorrow I’m going to shoot for the tomato sauce. If all goes well…well, the sky’s the limit. I may go get myself a pressure canner and see it I can’t blow this joint up!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by ma / gramma on November 27, 2010 at 12:14

    Im so proud. You Are now a domestic goddess!


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