August, in brief

Items of note from the past month or so:

1) I went to Vermont for the 6th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which my organization hosted. It was beautiful/exhausting. More on this later.

2) We became embroiled in a washing machine saga. Our landlord was on her way to Italy when our washing machine broke, so she left it to us to get a new washer/dryer unit installed on her dime. It didn’t go so well. We lived with two entire units in our house for more than two weeks; three units passed through our front door; two plumbers were involved; one of the plumbers left because he was “about to puke up” his “guts;” and in the end Jeff installed two separate units. But all’s well that ends well, except for the last plumber, who I really suspect might be dying.

3) The babiest of baby cucumbers in my community garden! Members of the garden continue to amaze me with their ability to offend each other (You ruined my life by pulling up the strawberry patch! The garden should be free of anti-Israeli propaganda! Children are scattering sand on the lawn and ruining my life!), but I managed to spend a pleasant Sunday afternoon with several of them, canning peach jam and drinking brandy.

4) Jeff got sick. He was sick on my birthday and the weekend that followed, so instead of going to the beach as planned, we waded into the unknown waters of Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix.

 5) I decided that storage space be damned, I need to own canning equipment! I’m not an expert, and I’ve never owned my own set of equipment before thanks to Tricia’s willingness to share. But I think I was the most knowledgable canner at the canning/brandy party despite being more than a decade younger than everyone else, so clearly I need to take my role as a serious canner more seriously! My community needs me!

2 thoughts on “August, in brief

  1. I love you Chels. What a charming life you lead (puking plumbers and all.) Also, I am excited for you to get a camera. I mean, no offense to the iphone, but you know…

    p.s. will you teach me all you know about canning some day? Pretty please?

  2. Canning is addictive. It is wonderful to gaze upon all the jewel-toned jars of wonderfully nutritious and tasty foodstuffs that you have put by with your own hands. I remember many a hot, summer afternoon canning in my grandmothers’ kitchens after preparing the fruits and veges to be canned out on the porch. I am just now beginning to do so myself. I have a craigslist gas stove on my back porch/patio for canning. I am comfortable with water-bath canning and would like to venture into pressure canning–I’ve used pressure cookers for years and don’t think pressure canning would be a difficult process. Also, there are so many new recipes for canning. Canning for a New Generation is a great resource; each student received a copy during a canning class at a local technology center (vo-tech). Actually, not much teaching at the class, just helping to prepare the fruits and veges and then watching the chef cook the wonderful mixtures, while her helpers canned, using the jars we brought. The chef also prepared snacks, so it was a great experience.

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