How I Spent my Holiday Weekend

I don’t know how this got started. I never do with these things. Suddenly, I find myself knee deep in a project that has taken on a life of its own and has grown WAY out of proportion.

All I know for sure is that I was in Walmart.

And they had nectarines on sale for 78 cents a pound. Corn was on sale for 25 cents an ear. Good, yellow, slightly chewy corn.

I bought a lot.

And a water bath canner.

And a bunch of jars.

Then I thought more deeply about it and realized that I couldn’t can corn using the water bath method. I went back and got a pressure canner.

So, back at the house, I iced down the corn while dealing with some other issues (returning to the office to finish setting up our ability to take credit cards on the internet Monday morning).

Corn, waiting for its destiny

I piled the rest of the stuff on the stove. Oh, yeah…did I mention that I decided to bake bread as well?

Supplies for the weekend kitchen debauchery

So, I got the internet thing taken care of with just 20 minutes of overtime. Whew! Back at the house, the first order of business was the corn. Before you can strip corn from the ears and can it, you’ve got to blanch it – that is, cook it for just a few minutes in boiling water. Blanching stops the enzyme action (or something) in the vegetable – and makes it all bright and colorful. For my money, the colorful thing is plenty reason to do it.

Blanched corn, waiting to be processed

An hour and a half later, I was stacking four pints and 8 half-pints of corn on the counter. We’re a tiny family. I can in small containers.

Next, came two batches of nectarine jam. Here’s the label I use for my jams and jellies. I never lived near enough to my nieces and nephews when they were children to have hosted this little party in my kitchen. But, I would have. I so would have.

My jam label

I made four loaves of bread (two batches) and threw them away. They just weren’t good. Then I researched and found that I needed to whip up some dough conditioner, because I was using a lot of whole grain, which makes heavy bread if you don’t put dough conditioner in the recipe. (I didn’t even know dough conditioner existed before yesterday morning.) So, off to the healthy supermarket to look for those obscure ingredients. I had to go to two healthy stores to find it all, but I did eventually get everything. I’ll do a separate blog later about the bread and will share the recipes at that time. I eventually got two wonderful loaves. I’ll take one to work tomorrow, along with several jars of jam.

And, then there was the nectarine cobbler. I’m also going to do a separate blog on cobblers. Here’s what it looked like, though….

Nectarine cobbler, hot from the oven

And, finally…I canned the rest of the nectarines – for future cobblers, I guess.

I almost forgot….the chicken!

One of the healthy stores was having a sale on boneless chicken breasts. $2.99 a pound! That’s unheard of. I may go get more. Anyway, I was kind of nervous about canning meat, but hell…my grandmother used to do it, and she wasn’t a rocket scientist. So, I figured I can do it, since I’m no rocket scientist, either. So, I got ten half-pint jars of canned chicken breast. I think it’s going to make amazing chicken salad later on.

So, here are the fruits of my weekend labor – all lined up.

The weekend\'s production

And now I have to reorganize the pantry (major ordeal) so these goodies can be stored. But, first I think I’m going to take a nap.

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4 Responses to “How I Spent my Holiday Weekend”

  1. City Mouse Says:

    Thanks for the visit over at my place! I’m going to go back over and add your name to my blogroll, so I can come back and visit often. There’s quite a little community of country and country-skills folks that hang around the blogosphere together – Jump right in!

    Also – your Etsy sales will seriously pick up come Fall and the approach to the holidays. I sell almost nothing all year and get cleaned out for Christmas. In fact, I don’t even really advertize/post except for that time of year. Course, who would buy scarves in July anyway, LOL.

    Thanks again!

  2. Tammy Says:

    Great job! I love the jelly/jam label, too. I don’t believe I have ever had nectarine cobbler. I will have to check this out. Yours looks delicious. As for canning meats, I like to can turkey and then using it to make turkey salad throughout the year.

  3. Tipper Says:

    I’m impressed with the canned chicken. I would be scared-but I guess you’re right its not rocket science. My husband’s family always canned sasuage. I’ve never done any kind of meat-but maybe I should try.

  4. Gettysburg Mom Says:

    Hello from Gettysburg… visiting via Country Mouse… I’m impressed and jealous at the same time about the canning…I only tried it once and the jam ended up as syrup and now I’m all worried that if I try it again I’ll end up killing my family with the results or myself with the process. Maybe if I scrounge up the courage this summer….

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