Monday, August 22, 2022

In Between

As in, I am in between jobs. After just under three years I left my most current position providing urgent care and will be starting a new job in a pediatric office, with better hours and fewer weekend shifts. (About the latter my family says, "It's about time!") It will take a little while to finish all the credentialing and get oriented, so that leaves me some time for canning. 

Today I checked the sauerkraut, and it was tasty, and the pH was <4, so it was ready. This time I hot packed it as I'm tired of cracking jars and losing product. The difference is that since the sauerkraut is already heated up, it takes less time in the canner to process. 10 minutes, instead of 20. Works for me.

The 7ish pounds of cabbage and 2 leeks made almost 6 pints of sauerkraut, once it was all packed down in jars. I even have enough that I will enter some in the fair. Maybe I can pull some more things together in the next few weeks to have a respectable entry. It would be weird to miss it!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Maybe I Have More Energy?

It's been a long, slow summer. The heat hasn't helped. Not only has there been a drought impacting the farm share and the local PYO options, but it's also made me not very excited to stand next to a stove. Or really do much of anything!

But today, since our summer travel is over, I started a batch of sauerkraut. Last year's batch didn't ferment for as long as I thought it should, so I got rid of it. Just in case. From the farm, I had four heads of cabbage and two leeks, about seven pounds worth of produce. I sliced everything thinly and mixed it all with 4 T. of salt and packed it in my crock. Tomorrow I'll see if I have to add some brine, it may be necessary. After that, as long as I keep the water seal refreshed, it should do its thing with minimal fuss. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Mixed Bread and Butter Pickles

This week we have the farm share to ourselves, and there were almost enough cucumbers to make a half-batch of bread and butter pickles. But not quite. So I added one small, cucumber sized zucchini and that was perfect. With the onion and Hungarian hot wax peppers I also got at the farm today, I was able to make four half-pint jars of bread and butter pickles. Which is good, as I think we ran out about a month ago.

Sunday, August 7, 2022


Last week, we visited family in Ohio. As with the prior year's trip, my in-laws got two big boxes of peaches from the Georgia Peach Truck. I had ambitions to make pies, crisps, jam, and other peachy things. But chaos ensued, as it usually does. I couldn't find a rolling pin so rather than a pie I made one crisp. And one batch of jam. But since my in-laws weren't sure where the canning pot that I'm positive we bought on a prior trip ended up, I did the "flip the jars over" thing to seal them. It worked, and it won't take them long to work through the 5 and a half jars of jam I made for them. 

Because I didn't have huge amounts of time I intended to bring home enough peaches for another two batches of jam, thinking I could make some to enter in the fair (and seal in a boiling water canner, the preferred way). But the peaches got bruised, and even though we put them in a fridge at the B&B we stayed at en route, the next morning we discovered they were starting to rot. 

We managed to find 5 good ones which we left with our lovely hosts and they kindly threw out the rest for us. I felt badly that didn't work, but we still had a lot of time in the car to go and it was almost 100˚F outside and the trunk wasn't as cool as I'd hoped it would be. So they really wouldn't have made it the rest of the way. 

Speaking of the Fair, it's really snuck up on me. I'm not done with the shawl I'd hoped to enter. It turns out, you have to actually knit in order for knitted items to be completed. Who knew? But I haven't gotten to it in a while. I only have the mulberry jelly to enter, having missed strawberry season and not having any peach jam. I haven't even made any pickles as the farm share hasn't had as many as prior years. So between the lack of produce and my general lack of energy, I'm not sure I'll manage to get anything else made by the time I have to enter.