Thursday, July 28, 2011

Warning Labels and Mama

For me at least, there's no need for a consumer product to carry a warning label.  After all, I have a mama who has made it one of her major roles in my life to inform me which small electronics could potentially blow up in my face.  Unlike some people's moms, mine has never done this worrying in an oppressive way, never made me scared of the world.  She tells me these concerns matter-o-factly, yet with enough drama that I can't help but enjoy a frisson of fear and excitement each time. 

I'm thinking about her particular concern over the frailties of consumer goods because she recently gifted me  a tool that I've been lusting after for years: a pressure canner.  One of the first thing a modern homesteader will realize upon perusing the Ball Blue Book: Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration that first time is you simply must have a pressure canner.  Without one you're stuck in jelly, jam and preserve land forever.  You can maybe make tomato sauce , but even that is considered dicey. 

Being the new, proud owner of this marvelous beast of an appliance, I've been daydreaming about all the things I'm going to put up before the season ends.  Yesterday I realized I've had that thing for two weeks and have gotten no further in the veggie canning odyssey than moving the jars into the kitchen. What gives, you ask?  I could bore you (and me) with excuses about the pressures of my hectic life, family drama, house hunting, etc.  Since I like you, I'll just leave it at: I've been a little preoccupied. 

Come this weekend my new canner and I are going to take that leap of discovery together.  On the agenda: green beans for sure and maybe even some corn.  We'll see how it goes. I definitely know this: as I fire up my turbo stove under the canning kettle no booklet from the box is gonna tell me anything I don't already know, thanks to Mama.  You have to be careful with a pressure canner: they'll blow up in your face.

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