Thursday, October 06, 2005

One of those "Oh, yeah, right....." moments

I've been canning food for the past few days. Yesterday it was plum jam which unfortunately scorched at the last minute (this annoys me to no end- cheap, crappy, thin enamelware pot!!!). Today it was orange marmalade; I've just removed the jars from the boiling water and set them to cool. It looks nice, except that the orange peel won't stay in suspension but wants to settle towards the bottom half of the jar. I suppose this is due to using a pectin that doesn't set up until after teh product cools. It bugs me, though. I'll have to eat half the jar before I get to the part I like, or stir it upon opening. Neither choice makes me happy. (Yeah, I am crabby today).

Canning is a multi-tasking nightmare for me. I know for a fact that I don't ever want to do anything that requires a pressure cooker! Jams, jellies, pickles, and fruits are stresful enough, thanks. The first time I canned something, I was in mortal fear of poisoning our whole family if everything in sight wasn't sterile every step of the way. My god, I was afraid to breathe on the food... I tend to think that havign the right tools, set-up, and a well designed kitchen probably helps quite a bit. There's almost no counter space or available work surface in the kitchen I have right now. I do, however, have a decent water bath canner, jar lifter, a good assortment of lids, jars, rings, etc, and that helps. It's still stressful though, especially with lot of little kids underfoot.

Anyway, I got everything set up, prepared, the jars filled with orange marmalade, water bath canner steaming away with hot water, and commenced putting the jars in the canner. This is when the aforesaid moment occurred: I had enough water in there for 7 quart jars, so it should be more than enough for 7 pint jars, right? Well, as it turns out, no. Quart jars are taller and bigger around, but they also displace twice the amount of water....I had to add more, all for seven little pint jars. :Chamoisee feels stupid and begins to see the point in the short, very squat little jars that are only about 4" high.....:

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