Saturday, August 08, 2009

Disaster!

I've been canning all day and my efforts have yielded 7 quarts of garlic dill pickles, 11 pints of green beans, 3 quarts of sweet pickles, and one quart of dilly beans. (OK, I know, about $35.o0 retail, and it took me all day...with the big burner going on the stove... I wonder how much the electric bill will be this month?) But I know where this food came from, I know which chemicals were used on it (NONE!) and I know how it was processed. That can't be measured in dollars.

Because the green beans are a low-acid food, they must be canned in a pressure canner. The pickles, however, can be canned in a boiling water bath canner. So I had both canners going on the top of the stove, rotating them in as needed to sterilize jars or process a batch of food.

When I opened the very last batch of the night in the boiling water bath canner, I found that one of the jars had cracked around the bottom and all the pickles were floating in the canner! I was heartbroken.

I'm taking "The French Chef Cookbook" to bed tonight for some light reading. It is a compilation of the recipes from the first few years of Julia Child's TV show, and many of the recipes come from the book featured in the Julie & Julia move, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I don't know if the recipe for beef bourguignon is in it, but I certainly hope so.

I took 4 wheelbarrows full of weeds to the compost pile this morning. I quit when it started raining, but the rain didn't last long - fortunately for the weeds, I had already started my pickling adventures. Maybe I can do some more tomorrow.

DH went to the farm this weekend. He needed to get away, GM's bankrupcty is very stressful. He's not sure if the position in Detroit is secure or a good one, it could be a temporary position and he might have to take a pay cut. The cost of living is higher in Detroit than here, but that's true of almost any location other than here. Although Kiplingers seems to indicate that we're about average (100 on their scale) I will probably be taking a pay cut whether or not I relocate (see list of new items on google) so I guess it's a really good thing that I know how to garden and preserve the harvest...

I'm thinking about investing in a food dryer. Given my economic situation, does a $300 - $500 investment sound reasonable, or would I be better served getting a $40 appliance at WalMart?

1 comment:

Guy said...

Excalibur driers are the best! We used one for 20 years before we finally had to replace it. Got the 9 drawer because it was totally worth it. Glad I found your blog, great to see other farmer/marketers getting into the game.

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