Bunches of Tomatoes and crickets

So I decided today at work that enough was enough, it was time I canned something again! Well…seventy dollars later, I’d already had enough. I never realized how heavy 8 pounds  of tomatoes is.  Good thing my desire for some HOME MADE salsa outweighed my laziness.  I ended up making apple butter and roasted red pepper spread for things like bruschetta. Aaron really enjoys fruity spreads, whereas I definitely love the savory spreads. I’ve found www.homecanning.com an indespensible resource!I bought a canner right before Aaron and I got married this spring, and while I’ve NEVER EVER canned before (come to think of it, no one in my family has. Hmm.), I certainly enjoy it, provided I’m organized. Tonight was not one of those nights. Aaron walked into our kitchen from “manland” (the 2nd bedroom’s affectionate nickname…from me. Its obviously his room.), and just turned around and started to walk out. He ended up getting recruited to mash the apples while I tried to find the sink.

 Needless to say, I finally finished everything up at 9 pm, started the dishwasher, mopped the floor with my “modified” clorox ready mop, disinfected all of the counters, and put my jammies on. Now I’m just waiting for a load of laundry to finish, I’m pretty certain the DH is asleep on the couch. I’ve got 7 half pints and 2 full pints of apple butter, and 5 half pints of the roasted red pepper spread. My mom, I’m fairly certain, thinks I’m crazy for canning. Her attitude is “Science has come along way…what’s wrong with the Pace Salsa?” Well….nothing, actually. I love certain store bought foods…velveeta with spicy salsa mixed in and tortilla chips…nummy! But if you have the time, its a lot more fun to make a homemade salsa and homemade chips. Same goes for dinner…I LOVE Kraft Macaroni and Cheese…but I know that it is not something I can eat every day for dinner anymore (yes, I did my time in undergrad and no, I don’t want to go back, thankyouverymuch!).

All the “craziness” aside, knowing how to can, even one or two recipes, is a great skill to have. I’ve hauled a few jars of pepper jelly out, tossed it over some cream cheese (Sometimes homemade, sometimes not…), put this on a pretty platter, and headed off to a last minute party. I’ve also given canned foods as gifts. Those that don’t can really love to receive yummy foods they might otherwise spend 5-7 bucks on at the farmers’ market! (Sorry farmers!) Tomorrow afternoon, as soon as I get home, I am making salsa! I’ve never actually canned the stuff, I’ve always made the kind that, well, gets eaten right away. We’ll see how that goes, and if I can figure out pictures, I’ll even post those!

As I’ve been typing, I’ve been listening to the crickets and frogs serenading us. Growing up in a relatively busy suburb, you never really LISTEN to the crickets. Yeah, you hear them, but you don’t associate the noise. Once I moved out to the country, the first night I laid in bed saying to myself, “Whatever is that noise!?” I finally figured out that it was crickets. I still remember calling my dad from college…”Dad! Guess what!? You can hear CRICKETS out here in Whitewater!” I remember him chuckling over it, teasing me for months about it. Now that my folks live out in the country too, my dad is amazed at all of the wildlife you see…especially the ducks that hang out in their yard. Most of the time, they look like very realistic lawn ornaments. 😉

Well…off to check the blog roll for the night, I’ve got a recipe for homemade laundry detergent I need to find! 🙂


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