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There is No Denying It

September 11, 2012

Fall  is in the air and on the ground!  A nice little low in the Gulf of Alaska is so kindly pumping cold air down over the Pacific Northwest.  We got a skiff of rain yesterday but it barely settled the dust.  So we’re still high and dry, and now cool.  Hopefully the low will move a bit and we’ll get some more warm days.  The tomatoes start tasting a little wonky once they are exposed to the cool nights.

Second frost – September 11, 2012

Chain saw carpenter

The rhythm of fall is here, the ram quit because the spring is getting low, now Hangdog will begin shortening the stroke which means less water, so now we conserve even more water.  Even as a child I was painfully aware that canning and preserving uses a fair amount of water.  I use my pressure canner a lot for that very reason.  Besides saving time, it saves water.

Veda’s beans

For one hundred and thirty-one falls someone has stood at our kitchen cutting board and processed home-grown food.  I think of that everyday when I feel like I need to accomplish things in the kitchen while the light is good.  I have the luxury of turning on the electric light whereas others before me didn’t.  So in deference to past generations I try to get my work done without flipping the switch.  It’s a complicated thought process, I will use the electric stove to heat my canner, I will not waste wood this time of year heating the house to process food.  Others may disagree with that train of thought.  We do what we do.  I will document this second century and my part of it on this farm with a digital camera and a blog.

Why waste any electricity or effort canning green beans?  People either love canned green beans or they look down on them.  I know of a couple of other folks in our town that LOVE canned green beans, enough so that it is a topic of conversation at potlucks.  Weird huh?  For me I think they take me back to the meals at my gardening mentor’s table.  Home canned or fresh from the garden green beans with Guernsey butter, and a smidge of sugar.  I could eat that for dessert.  Although they called lunch, dinner, and dinner, supper.  Midwest I guess.  We call it breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I treasure the seeds they gave me, and the memories.

Flavorburst & Ace ready for the freezer

So the work of fall continues and the colors and days blur.  A culinary blur Hangdog calls it.  I call it the work of food, and when I am in the thick of it, I see why so many people are getting their hands dirty providing for themselves and others.  There is no marketing needed for good healthy food, it speaks for itself.


11 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    September 11, 2012 8:56 am

    Beautiful photos of your purple beans and the apples! One question…why is Hangdog chainsawing your roof in two?? 🙂

  2. September 11, 2012 9:23 am

    Gorgeous food! I had hoped to put up winter stores this year, but the house/land-hunting gods just didn’t agree. Next year!

    As a born and raised mid-westerner, I always enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner too 🙂

  3. Chris permalink
    September 11, 2012 11:36 am


  4. September 11, 2012 11:56 am

    As a true northerner of England it is breakfast, dinner and tea for us and maybe supper if eating late or we need a bit more food.

  5. September 12, 2012 4:18 am

    I agree, canning does use a surprisingly large amount of water. Like you, I prefer to mainly use my pressure canner for that reason. I do have a hard time figuring out how long (and the pressure) for recipes in my preserving book that say boiling water bath but I know I can use a pressure canner for….last week I sliced up apples and added brandied syrup to quart jars. Instead of using the BW bath I used the pressure canner at 5 pounds pressure for about 10 minutes. Most of the jars had serious seepage although the seals are tight. One jar lost half the syrup! I would like to make this recipe again but I’m not sure why they lost so much liquid in the pressure canner. The recipe headspace said 1/2 inch, which I did, but maybe it should be lower…any suggestions?

    • September 12, 2012 6:46 am

      Roz, I know this is a no-no but the older books do have sections with time tables for pressure canning fruits, unfortunately they also have time tables for BWB low acid foods too. According to my old canning book you’re right on with the time and pressure. I use a lower head space because I like to cold pack, and things really expand when they cook. You can either leave more head space or do hot pack to stop the expansion.

      It’s unfortunate that the old books get thrown out because they have useful information, of course, I know not to BW green beans, but I see how someone could get into trouble…especially since most people canning haven’t had the continuous generational food preservation upbringing that I have had, and they rely on instructions to a fault. Sometimes the good old days are left behind, and sometimes not. I wish I could buy 1/2 gallon canning jars by the dozen like I used to.

  6. September 12, 2012 8:25 pm

    “There is no marketing needed for good healthy food, it speaks for itself.”

    May I quote that, with appropriate references, please.

  7. September 13, 2012 9:52 am

    What variety apples are those? They glow!

    • September 13, 2012 10:09 am

      Akane and they are delicious, although the deer have been magnetized to that poor little tree and barked it up something fierce. I will have to do some grafting next year and start a new one. 😦

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