Mr. VS and I were quite domesticated (like badly behaved pets) this fall and we tried some canning from the bounty of the land, i.e. our garden.
BTW…we totally have a farm or something minus any animals except cats (Cat farm?). Our farm has no name but might be called Poison Ivy Farm because of the abundance of this plentiful crop. Anyway, this was our first time EVER canning. We were canning virgins and now have popped our first lid (seriously you can hear the lids when they pop down to seal. I’m not lyin’). We had several canning sessions and some of them were drunk canning sessions.
My impressions of canning are as follows:
They scare the shit out of you about botulism (by they I mean every recipe or person who talks about canning online). At first I didn’t really know what botulism is and I was pretty terrified to do canning cause I thought it would mean imminent death if we screwed it up in any way, shape or form.
And with us being fumbling indelicate virgins and all….well…it could easily have happened. For some reason Botulism to me was like poisoning…which it is…but I was thinking of a more lethal variety. However botulism is just a pretty word for food poisoning (how did I go through 32 years of life without learning this? or retaining it?) So just like profanity is a pretty word for…other naughty words, so is botulism a snazzy word for puking etc due to bad food.
So they amp you all up, acting like you’re gonna die if you do canning wrong. I guess food poisoning isn’t pleasant, but most of the time you don’t actually DIE. Although I don’t really want to give myself food poisoning either. So we were scared.
Tomatoes and Nakedness
Secondly, do you know how many tomatoes it takes to make a jar of sauce? It takes a metric shit-ton because those puppies are all water. Luckily we were blessed with a garden that was producing metric shit tons so we were golden. The problem though also comes in with how you have to treat the tomatoes. They’re high maintenance motherfuckas. You have to SKIN them (really?)!
When Mr. VS first told me, I was like, no….I’m not doing that shit. It sounds like too much work and if those tomatoes want to get naked on their own, fine, but I am not stripping them. But then we did anyway cause I guess the skins are nasty to eat in tomato sauce. Also once the tomatoes are naked they look all alien and disgusting. Ew. Then you have to boil those babies forever and ever until the water boils off and they get thicker. Then they have to be put into jars that have been boiled, being very careful that you don’t set off a nuclear war of botulism. THEN…after they’re in the jars and you’ve sealed in the botulism by placing the lids on, then you put them into the boiling water bath for a long ass time.
We worked on making pasta sauce for hours and we got like 2 jars. And we had stripped so many tomatoes! I should have had a lot of dollah dollah bills ya’ll since there was so much stripping in the kitchen, but no, all I got was TWO lousy jars of pasta sauce. I have declared to friends that I will never take store bought pasta sauce for granted ever again. Not that I did to start with. But still. I won’t complain to pay $3 or even $4 per jar. Seems reasonable to me. BTW…where are these tomato stripping facilities?? I would pay dollahs for some pre-stripped tomatoes.
Oh and we also made salsa. That shit took forever too. More tomato stripping. So high maintenance. Soooo sexy.
Too Much Jam
We also made Jam (pain in the ass), pickles which are wicked delicious and pretty easy. Plus we made canned pears and jalapenos too. Jam was probably the hardest of this batch of canning festivities and we got about 7 small jars which we can never eat, probably in a life time. Not that it will last that long. BOTULISM!! So my family best expect Jam-like botulism Christmas presents. (Sad face!).
The jam was concord in nature and we had some concord grapes growing right outside the house. You also have to strip the grapes of their little skins which means squeezing them until their goo comes out. That just sounds so nasty and I can’t believe I wrote that on my blog. Anyway, the insides look like little eyeballs. GAH!! Then you have to boil shit and then somehow strain the seeds from the other gooey eyeball stuff. Overall a disgusting task. And why does nature make it so difficult? Adding seeds? Really nature? It’s not like you need to REPRODUCE or anything and why with the skins? Get over ya’self, go nakked. Stop being ashamed of your body, you’re fracking beautiful!!
So hopefully there’s no botulism. We’ll find out in a few months when we crack a jar open to eat in the middle of winter. That’ll be fun, like botulism roulette. Will I get botulism this time? Maybe next time? Who knows!! YEEEE!! Also at one point when we were doing drunk canning (which is dangerous but far more fun) I said to Mr. VS, we should do SEXY canning! He was like…no, sexy canning leads directly to botulism. And he’s right. That could get real dangerous. My family and friends definitely want some of that sweet sweet concord jam now!! YEA!! SEXY JAM!!
And to clarify, the reason drunk canning is dangerous is due to burning yourself with the boiling waters. It’s kind of hard to get the water out of the jars when they’re boiling by themselves. Also when you drop them in and hot water splashes. Also when you have like 4 items on the stove and they barely fit and you lean over with a loose (ultra sweet 90’s plaid shirt. Grunge ya’ll) and almost light yourself on fire. But it was more entertaining to be slightly drunk while canning. Although again, the knives. There were knives and chopping too. So yeah…
So…I’ve started on my prepping adventures already. Not really, cause we’d last about 2 days with the food we canned, but still. BUT still. I’m far more domesticated now, kinda like the olden days. Mr. VS and I are gonna be old pros at this in a few years. We’ll have an actual food pantry going with all kinds of fancy shit in it. And possible botulism at every turn. How much more exciting can a life of domesticity get? I think that’s pretty much the tops. Cannot get any better.