Canning and Preserving · Musings

As I Brush Damp Tendrils of Blond Hair from My Weary Brow

Okay, a bit dramatic.

I’ve been busy – work-busy and home-busy.  But it’s all good busy.  I love my job, so I’m perfectly happy when I’m there, and at home I’ve been canning up a storm, which isn’t always fun, but it’s satisfying and rewarding to look at the jars and jars of food on my pantry shelves.

Most recently it’s been the three S’s:  Sauce, Salsa, and Stock.  (I’m not sure if that S should have an apostrophe or not with the small s after it, but without one it just looked like I was hissing, so I put it in.  Not that you care, probably, but I do.  So I had to explain my decision.)

I’ve done up quarts of three kinds of marinara – very herby with basil and oregano, “pizza sauce” with lots of garlic, and just plain tomato sauce that I can doctor up depending on what we’re cooking with it.  I also made some taco sauce with the tomato sauce base – lots of cumin and coriander in that.  And with some of the leftover, uncanned sauce, I made two batches of lasagne and froze them.  I love packing food away.  Maybe I’m part squirrel.

For salsas – well, I can’t claim full credit for those – Bill did the bulk of the chopping for me.  I have carpal tunnel syndrome that flares up, especially in my right hand, so Bill decided to do that part of the job for me.  He’s a pretty nice guy, you know.  We made tomatillo salsa, jalapeno salsa, “spicy salsa” – from a recipe in my Home Canning book (put out by Ball), and – the most interesting concoction – something from the same book that is called Tomato-Chipotle Salsa but came out more the consistency of a paste.  It’s smoky and spicy and we both love it, but after initially canning it in pint jars, we re-canned it into 4 oz jars because a little goes a long way.  It’s more like chipotle peppers packed in adobo, which you can find in many grocery stores.  We love it.

And the stocks – so far I’ve got turkey stock and fish stock.  Working on pork stock and chicken, with beef waiting in the wings.  I don’t think I’ll get it all done today, but that’s okay. 

I’m also planning to add a fourth “S” to the group – soup.  I’m very excited to start canning soups now.  Because, you know, I don’t have enough projects on my list.  Anyway, I’m going to start with pea soup with chunks of ham in it.  We have a ham bone with lots of meat on it and I’ve got everything else on hand as well, so at some point over the next few days, I’ll put that together.

I took some time on Monday to reorganize the shelves in my pantry so I could make room for all the new jars of stuff. 

It’s filling up fast.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing instead of writing much of anything on here.  And yes, I still need to tell you about the Camembert.  I haven’t forgotten. 

So, what have you been up to lately?

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