Posts Tagged With: Oranges

Adventures in Canning

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I did a bunch of canning yesterday, and I am feeling right now like it was mostly a bust.  I had intended to make Harlequin Conserve, Tomato Sauce, and Tomato soup.  I was hoping to get, oh… 3 quart-sized jars of spaghetti sauce, 6 pints of tomato soup, and a bunch of conserve.  What I ended up with was NOT worth the time it all took.

Because that was the thing… I bought 10 lbs of tomatoes and ended up with 2 pints of tomato soup and 2 ½ pints  of tomato sauce.  It also took all day.  I started at 11:00 am and didn’t finish until about 9:00 pm.  After all of that, I still have to water bath the tomato sauce tonight.  I’m a very tired kid this morning.  The entire kitchen would have been sticky if Brian hadn’t been the best husband ever and cleaned up for me.

I got a ton of Harlequin Conserve though… (which is oranges, orange peel, plenty of pineapple, some slivered almonds and plenty of sugar all boiled until it jelled just a bit.  It’s like a pulpy thick syrup.  Best thing ever).  And that tomato soup is damn good.  Sweet like the Campbell’s version but so much more robust in flavor.

So, the ultimate results are this: I don’t think I would make the tomato sauce again.  It’s time (and tomato) consuming, it wasn’t much better than the stuff you buy at the store, and it was more expensive.  We just don’t use enough tomato sauce in this house for it to be worth all that effort.  I would definitely consider doing the tomato soup again, but only in a gigantic batch to balance the time/enjoyment of soup ratio a little more.  The harlequin conserve is my new obsession.  It wasn’t any harder than jam is, and it’s SO GOOD.

Brian looked at me at the end of the night and said “I now get why people don’t do this anymore.”

I mean, I do too.  But I also had a good time.  There will be further canning in my future.  Tonight, as a matter of fact (smh).

PS – One of the things that fascinates me as a Historian is the sounds and smells that we, as modern people, just don’t experience anymore.  The stuff that was familiar that is no longer familiar.  I felt a little gleeful every time a jar sealed properly with a metallic pop.

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Finally Fall

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I’m feeling fairly unable to write this week.  Probably because I’ve been keeping up a 3,000+ words a day schedule in order to catch up with Nanowrimo (it’s going okay!).  But maybe also because I’m always of the opinion that you shouldn’t be that political on the internet and this week is all about politics of the angry, screamy kind.

So instead, let’s talk home stuff.

This is the season when I get to be more of a homebody than ever.  Brian and I upgraded our couch to a new one (it was more than time), and the new thing is nail head-studded, linnenish, and has these shiny round furniture feet.  Best of all, it has a chaise so Brian and I can lounge all over each other when we’re watching TV.  It matches the dining set we bought last year pretty well, too.  So, basically we’re looking stylish.  I’m already drooling over curtains.

We re-arranged our bedroom last weekend, too.  It feels bigger and more cozy simultaneously.  This house has so much more room than our last tiny apartment, so I raided everyone’s art stash when we moved in (and by everyone’s, I mean my mother’s), hoarded any frames I could get my grubby fingers on, and got creative with fancy paper, posters, internet print-outs, and cut up calendars.  It still wasn’t enough to fill the bedroom.  I remedied that this weekend.  My favorite is a print of a boat on a lake with a starry sky behind it that says “It was beautiful, but difficult, to sail it.” It’s a Tolstoy quote, from Anna Karenina.  I can’t seem to find the translation I used now, but here is the whole quote from a different version:

“At every step he experienced what a man would experience who, after admiring the smooth, happy motion of a boat on a lake, he finds himself sitting in it himself.  He found that it was not enough to sit quietly without rocking the boat, that he had constantly to consider what to do next, that not for a moment must he forget what course to steer or that there was water under his feet… it was pleasant enough to look at it from the shore, but very hard, though very delightful, to sail it.”

It makes me warm every morning, waking up to it.

I have the ukulele out, and I’m learning new Thanksgiving songs.  I’ve been madly scouring the internet for chords to “Plenty to be Thankful For,” from Holiday Inn, but can’t find anything I don’t have to pay for.  We’re having dinner at my house, and I’m making pickles (among other things – but the pickles are new – from Jack-At-A-Pinch’s recipe).  The Roger’s Red grapevine is just starting to turn a little pinkish around one or two of the leaves.  The oranges in the grove across the street are turning bright again, and this means that the stand down the street will have them for sale again soon.  We had the first fire in the fireplace last weekend.

Now if only I can manage to serve the turkey on time this year, my contentment will be complete… (I should clarify that by “I,” I mean I’ll be helping Brian with the timing.  I have large amounts of freak-out when I try and prepare the dead bird for roasting, or attempt to carve the thing, so he’s the official cook, because he’s awesome).

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