Monday, September 22, 2008
Today, instead of blogging, I:
7:00 woke up, remembering why I'm so tired. Oh yes, I spend yesterday afternoon picking apples.
7:10 went on a walk, just a short one, since the kids will be up soon.
On my walk, found an interesting trash pile, and ended up bringing home a mirror for the toy room. Now the kids can model their dress-up clothes for themselves :)
7:30 start looking for canning supplies. Today is my only chance to deal with these, I tell myself. I've been dreading it for, well, hours.
7:45 Find the weight to my pressure canner. Feel ecstatic. These will go so much faster if I can pressure cook them!
8:10 actually begin (after breakfast) cutting apples. Fill the 18 quart roaster first, and set it cooking out on the back porch.
8:40 already on my second pot -- my super giant pressure canner. Almost cry when I realize that I don't have the seal. Decide to look for it.
9:00 give up in despair. Back to cutting apples. I'm just cutting them, not peeling and coring, so it goes pretty quickly.
9:40 Realize that I already have blisters on my hand from the knife and switch to a bigger one with a one-piece handle that's a bit easier on my hands.
By 10:30 I've filled pots for every burner on my stove, and their happily cooking away. I decide to finish up by peeling, coring and chopping the remainder, then crock-pot cooking them into chunky applesauce.
10:50. Peeling and coring and chopping is really slow. I lose patience and start chopping too fast. Cut my finger and it bleeds all over the place. Thinking that I'm brilliant for remembering Chet's claim that super glue is the best for cuts, I super glue it. Then it occurs to me that it would have been a good idea to control the bleeding first -- the blood is making holes and dripping out the super glue, and looking really ugly. I add some toilet paper and put a bunch of pressure on it.
10:52 Realize that I've just super glued my hands together. Uh oh. Fortunately it's not totally dry, and I didn't need all that skin anyway.
10:53 Notice that while I detached my hands from each other, my fingers of my left hand are still stuck together. Pry them apart. Now I have a mass of toilet paper glued to my finger. Decide to cut it down to a small bump, then return to apples.
11:15 Call my mother for backup. She agrees to come help sauce apples when she's done with work. What a wonderful lady!
11:30 Feed the kids lunch and head out to food net.
12:35 Return, eat another snack and cut up some more apples. This peeling and coring stuff is really awful. I tell myself that this is the last time I'm going with that notion.
12:45 Mom arrives. Hurray! She brings her own saucer, and I find all the pieces to mine. We're in business. Two pots look ready to sauce, the 18 quart roaster is burnt, and two are barely started. We sauce the two ready pots in a matter of minutes. I can't believe how fast this goes when the apples are really really done.
1:15 Decide that I'd better not sauce anymore just yet. We need jars. I dig out and wash. We fill them. I wash some more. We fill them. Eventually I get the apples out of my canner so that we can use it for, um, canning.
2:00 finally put the kids down for naps.
2:30 This place is a mess. I'm going to run out of jars. Hey, while we're at this, why don't we make some special flavors?
2:40 Dig out some raspberries from the freezer to add to applesauce. Wow, that's yummy. Try the same with strawberries. Good too.
3:00 As long as it's this messy, I really should make a few batches of Raspberry jelly up.
3:30 Oh, no. I've use every jar I own, every jar my mother has loaned me, and every jar my mother-in-law has loaned me. And we have lots more applesauce. Not to mention jelly that's started. Oh, I've run out of sugar now too. That's what jelly does.
3:45 The only thing that isn't already holding applesauce is Styrofoam cups that Chester carries coffee to school in. Fill 14 with applesauce.
5:30 The last batch is finally done in the canner. The raspberry jelly is done too. The kitchen is in shambles like I've never seen before. Where are the kids? Oh, yes, killing each other in the back yard.
5:31 Go to break up the fight. Sure I'll play baseball with you for a while. Why are you kids so crabby? Oh, maybe because Mom's ignored you all day? No, because we're hungry, Mom. Oh no, it's supper time! Start some noodles and sauce for supper. Throw a loaf of French bread in the oven, and try to clear a space on the table to eat.
6:15 Done eating. Dad takes kids, Mom cleans the kitchen. How did I get so lucky?
7:30 The kitchen is clean. Relax and take a deep breath.
8:00 Stick the kids to bed. They're tired too.
8:15 Oh no, there's still a crockpot full of applesauce sitting behind the couch in the living room. Chester suggests baggies. All I have are flimsy wally world sandwich bags. They seem to do okay though.
Now, finally, take a look around and tally. Let's see. 16 Quarts, 14 3-cup freezer jars, 19 pints, 14 Styrofoam cups, 4 baggies. 18 jars of jelly (almost all are pints, a few half-pints). I've earned my ice cream today. Chester humors me and makes home-made ice cream with pecans and caramel in it. What a guy.