Yesterday, my friend Jami came over again for part two of canning lessons (one that, thankfully–this time, did not include electrocuting stove-burners). I already had the first batch of tomato sauce pints in the canner, so we started washing and chopping squashes for the zucchini relish.
We ended up with just a little more than a case of tomato sauce–the excess over that went home with Jami–including the jar that wasn’t quite full enough to can. I gave her that one and a sealed one, so she wouldn’t be tempted to open the sealed one just yet. I’m a little superstitious about opening jars of food right away once they’re processed.
I also cleaned up the latest batch of little cukes for the crock, which will be an interesting thing to move–they won’t be done enough to can before I head out, so they’ll probably just have to ride on the floor of the truck cab.
Jami and I chopped twenty cups of yellow squash, eight cups of onions, and a few Jimmy Nardello peppers in various stages of ripe/redness before salting down the whole deal and mixing it with our bare hands (which is, of course, the fun part).
We used our respective favorite cutting boards and knives, and I taught her how to sharpen her blade, and gave her the bit of philosophy about knives having only one master (or, in the case, mistress).
If you let anyone else sharpen your favorite knife, you’ll end up with a duller tool for it–they’ll sharpen at a different angle than you do and bung it all up. That’s not to say that you can’t let your sweetie use your fancy knife; they just shouldn’t sharpen it. Once you take mastery (miss-tery?) of your knife, it’s really yours.
This morning, after attending the Lions Club Fly-in Breakfast down at the airport, it was time to rinse the chopped vegetables of their salted water and cook them all down with the vinegar, spices and sugar.
I ended up just short of a case–though the twelfth jar did get about half-filled. That takes me down to four cases of quarts, one case of pints, three cases of half-pints, and one case of assorted-size jars to fill in the next couple of weeks.
I don’t know if I can do it, but I’m going to try!
P.S.–I will be starting a new blog once I relocate to Minnesota, so this one will be updated less often. The blog will be “Big Stone Bounty,” but I’m not giving you a link because there’s nothing there yet!
Keep checking in here for the next couple of weeks–I’ll be posting more, and I’ll let you know when I make the switch!