Saturday, April 17, 2010

I Think I Can

The last couple of weeks have been grueling. The stretch between February Break and April Break is a long one, you see. It's not really that long in "normal time." But it is very long in "Kid Time." There's a great deal to get done and little in the way of diversions. By the time Spring Break arrives, it's a tough to determine who is more ready for it, the kids or the teachers.

I've gotten in the habit of waking up around 4:30 in the morning so I can get in a little extra worry-time before heading off for my commute. I'd rather hoped that this annoying quirk would end once school was over for a week, but I was being optimistic. In spite of not having a single middle school student waiting to ruin my life, I was still up before the sun this morning. It took me several minutes to realize I had nothing to worry about and that all the little dears were at home worrying other people today.

However, there was no going back to sleep once the brain was in gear so I got up. It wasn't such a big deal, really. I did have a few things to do today and the extra hours wouldn't hurt. I puttered about the manse, had that extra cup of coffee, and was right on time for my morning appointment with The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach. I thought about knitting. I also thought about spinning.

Then I decided to make barbecue sauce.

Actually, this wasn't such an odd impulse. I was planning to get to it at some point this weekend. I've been experimenting with my recipe and pretty much have it right where I want it. I thought it would be nice to have some sauce on hand for the vacation week should the urge to grill come over me. I even thought it might be a good idea to make a "little" extra...

I overshot the mark on that one. No one should have this much barbecue sauce. No one. Unless a cow walks in the door right now demanding to be basted and slow roasted, I cannot envision needing this much sauce.

So I decided to can some of it. I'm pretty sure I've canned before. I must have. I have canning supplies and a working knowledge of the process. I know I haven't done it since I have lived here in the manse, but I have canned. I'm certain of this.

What I may have canned, I don't recall. But that is not important. I have canned. I distinctly remember thinking, "I really shouldn't use my good canning pot as a dye pot because I won't be able to can anymore." There. I told you I'd canned. I just needed to find another pot and I'd be all set.

Other than a rather alarming fountain coming from the over-filled water bath, I was able to do a small batch process without too much difficulty. I even found that weird little magnetic thing to pull the jar lids out of the boiling water, although I don't know how I located it. I don't even remember buying it. Frankly, I'm shocked that it went as well as it did. Usually, I manage to forget what I know about stuff just in time to realize that I shouldn't have started in the first place. At that point, it is usually too late.


But there is sauce so apparently, I can can.


That seemed like a good place to stop for the day. Once you've successfully managed to do something you don't remember doing but know you did and which could go horribly wrong if you remember the doing incorrectly, it is generally in your best interest to not tempt fate any further. I spent the rest of the day lazing in front of the TV and periodically going into the kitchen to push on the tops of the jars to make sure they were really sealed. (they are, but you never know...) I didn't so much move otherwise. When you've had a good day by noon, you need to be satisfied with that.

Now I just need to overcome this bizarre urge to make pickles because I honestly don't think I remember ever doing that...

SA

15 comments:

kmkat said...

Color me impressed, big time. My mother used to can lots of stuff -- tomatoes, jams and jellies, grape juice -- but it all looks way to complicated for me.

When is the barbecue? I'll bring beer ;-)

PICAdrienne said...

Making pickles requires fresh cucumbers, really fresh cucumbers. Wrong time of year.

By the time the cucumbers are right, you will have probably gotten over the urge to make them.

Donna Lee said...

I always make our bbq sauce. I haven't canned any but tend to make only about a jar at a time. My husband eats it on most everything so it doesn't last long.

Kath said...

Make bbq sauce? Like from scratch? This is something I have never heard of anyone doing. 'Course since I live in a very old wood home I don't ezackly spend much time grilling, so perhaps that is why!

Mel said...

When it's actually the proper time of year to put up pickles, I recommend trying brine pickling. I've been very pleased with my little experimental batch from last year.

catsmum said...

I'm ultra super impressed.

Lynne said...

If this is how you mean to go on, you will have a very productive spring break! LOL

Mia said...

yay sheepie! I can so totally understand you're head right now. Wish I had the gumption to can something. Maybe soon. I'm almost thinkin about dustin off my spinnin' wheel

almost :)

carry on :)

Knitting Linguist said...

You'd remember if you'd ever tried to make pickles. Definitely. I'm impressed with the jars of BBQ sauce, though! And, alas, craving some myself now, sigh.

Don't you love that charming "ping" that the cans make as the lids seal? Makes me happy every time. Maybe I need to can something again soon...

trek said...

Hmm, I thought you lived there in the manse for something like 20 years. That's a long time to remember knowing how to do something but not remember actually doing that something.

I sometimes have a hard time remembering what I knew how to do last week.

Kudos!

Karen said...

Will you share your recipe with us?? Homemade BBQ sauce must be yummy.

Elaine said...

Yes, indeed! I'd love to have that recipe! I mostly just buy bottled sauce and doctor it up... (a little horseradish here, a bit more bourbon there......)

Julia G said...

Today I had a business meeting whose adult attendees bore a suspicious resemblance to your budding comet scientists in that they were equally disinterested in completing their assigned tasks (and truthfully, that would include me). Still, inspired by your example of gamely dragging your charges to the library and introducing them to the wonders of footnoting, I persevered, and got everyone to eat their business agenda vegetables and like'em, too. Maybe the BBQ sauce would've helped, although Elaine's horseradish-and-bourbon idea looks pretty tempting....

knitseashore said...

I am so impressed...cooking on your vacation?! Wow. Next thing I know, you'll be cooking special diets for the cats, and making me feel even more inadequate, LOL.

Seriously, that is so amazing.

gayle said...

I can a ton of tomatoes every year.
I really ought to can a batch of barbecue sauce, since my recipe makes 5 gallons. (The recipe is from my restaurant days. I don't make it very often...)