A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Grocery Shopping for Days of Madness

Oh, doesn't that sound exciting, my friends? I get to go shopping for groceries! Wheeeee!!!!
$600 worth of jars, there are 5 more boxes of
mixed, used, jars not photographed.
Oh, but look at a portion of my list:

50 lbs of sugar
5 large Asian pears
20 lbs of onions
4 lbs of jalapenos
2 lbs of butter
4 gal of vinegar—2 cider, 2 white
a huge bag of ginger
dozen green bell peppers
3-4 red bell peppers
half dozen boxes of wide lids
half dozen boxes of narrow lids
half dozen boxes of rings (narrow & wide)

And, there is more, oh so much more, but the list is in the other room, and I am not ;-)

Yes, the time of our annual 'jam session' is merely days away. Ms Nancy and Ms Lee will be here either late Thursday or early Friday and the first up will be to jar the Canton Ginger. That means, come tomorrow, I need to scrape and slice a gallon or so of fresh ginger and get the first cooking done. (It takes four cookings/four days before it's ready). I will need to chop all the onions on Wednesday, or maybe Thursday, so they will be ready to go. I will need to chop the pears (they can be chopped, bagged, and frozen until needed.)

I need to have the kitchen prepped. That means, many of the jars washed and stacked on clean towels, the pots ready, the hot plate set up and the water pot ready to go. The food mill down for easy reach, the large glass cake pans out—we make our chutneys in them as they have to cook a long time at a low temperature. Spices, bowls, spoons, etc., etc. and, etc. where they will be within easy reach as they are needed.

Traditionally, the Canton Ginger is the first thing we put up, (I time the last cooking just for that purpose) and once it's up we're under way. We will have a few things that need to be mixed and allowed to macerate overnight—the Asian Pear marmalade, the summer squash relish, and anything else we come across that looks good. (We make an herbed peach jam we call Racoon's Delight because the first year we made it, and put it in the garage to macerate overnight, the racoons came in the cat door and ate it. And what they didn't eat, they spread around all over the floor. Now I have the Frog Room, and we can put stuff out there, and the racoons can't get in!)

There are over $600 worth of jars in my kitchen to be washed and used, plus Nancy and Lee will bring the ones people have returned to them. Yes, if you are one of the lucky ones who receive our home jams, know that you are not just receiving jars of deliciousness, but you are receiving jars hard love, work, tears (if it contains the onions), and a lot of fun. Some people say they can actually hear our laughter when they open the jars the first time.

If there is no post next Monday, it's because we are still jamming.  But pictures will be posted the following week, as well as a list of what we made. In the meantime, this old lady would appreciate all the naps you can take and share with me. It's gonna be a time of love, laughter, and damned hard work! ;-)

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