It's a rainy, overcast day . . . a PERFECT day to stay in bed! But, alas, that's a pipe dream. Although, Tom and I did sleep WAY in this morning - we were both SHOCKED when we looked at the clock! (And I won't even tell you what time it read - it's that embarrassing.)
Tom and I both had big work days yesterday. The piece of rental equipment that Tom needed for his Trapper Cabin Handyman job in town was not available (even tho it had been reserved for him), so he switched gears. After cleaning out the accumulation of recycling, garbage, and JUNK in the woodshed, he logged and worked on firewood all afternoon and late into the evening.
I, meanwhile, had another pickling day and finished up all the pickling cucs. I got 21 1/2 pints put up yesterday, and it feels GREAT to have that all accomplished! I get a great sense of satisfaction out of working all day and then having the "instant" gratification at the end when I see all that I've accomplished. And, talk about saving money! In addition to only including "healthy" (no preservatives), organic ingredients, all the pickles I've put up this year (10 quarts and 30 1/2 pints) would have cost around $186 . . . and that's the WHOLESALE price that I pay! So, not counting Mom's blood, sweat, and tears that went into planting, nurturing, and harvesting the seeds - and my blood, sweat, and tears in cleaning, slicing, preparing, and canning the pickling cucs - only MINIMAL cost went into the pickles. Maybe $5, $10 total. Now THAT'S a savings! (And a big psychological reward!)
Today I need to finish blanching and freezing the green and yellow beans (which have been languishing on the cold floor of my pantry) and then attack sa-sa-sa-sal-SA! ;)
These two pictures are from the pickling process . . . examples of something that, as a canner, you NEVER really want to see! So, remember when I wrote about the last jar of pickles splitting open as I lifted them out of the water bath? Yup, this is what that mess looked like.
This second picture is from last night and WAY more dangerous! See the jar of pickles on the top right in the group of six? That lid pushing up is what you call P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E! Just as that batch was finishing, I heard a loud POP! and thought, "Sugarjets! Another jar broke open!" (And, okay, I didn't really say 'sugarjets', but you get the jist!) Anyway, no, I'd - apparently - had a bad seal on that jar, causing the pressure of the boiling brine in the boiling water batch to convex the lid out! Not good. So, it was with great trepidation and fear . . . and shielding my eyes as best as I could . . . that I removed it from the water bath. And, as the jar cooled, so relaxed the pressure within. All was well, and now that jar is in the refrig as our "test" jar. (Haven't tried them yet.)
Mmmm, the rain coming down outside is WONDERFUL (we need rain soooo badly). Problem is, all it makes me want to do is make a batch of cookies and then curl up in front of the crackin' fire (eating the cookies!) with a good book!