"Commentary from the Countryside"
Thoughts on current events,
history, homesteading, preparedness, real food, and anything else I find interesting, from a cranky, middle-aged woman's common-sense perspective.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kernels and Kablooey

Summer has flown by with swift, trembling wings and here we are on the cusp of Autumn.  Time to be harvesting, canning, drying, and putting food by for the winter.  My poor garden was a victim of drought, weeds, and lack of time, so my harvest has been meager.  Happily, there's a large Amish farm just down the road that does a good business in seasonal produce, and I've been able to supplement my harvest.  If I can't grow it myself, at least I know where it came from!

When traveling to the city I also pass a very large commercial potato farm, where thrifty folks can pull in and get fifty pounds of fresh potatoes for $7.00.  I sliced and dried half of that, and cubed and canned the rest.  I was feeling pretty smug when, after filling one pressure canner with quart jars full of potatoes and starting the timer, I still had another canner to fill.  I figured to be done in half the time!

Alas, it is true, "pride goeth before the fall"....when the timer went off for the second canner, the first was still on high, as the weight had not resumed jiggling (or like a friend says, giggling) after the initial venting and start up process.  Well, it appears that the weight wasn't happy because the pressure was too high and the burner was too high and the temperature was too high and everything built right up and up and up and KABLOOEY!  ...that endless yet instant moment of heart stoppage when my mind tried to rationalize the sudden presence of a jet engine in my kitchen as the safety plug burst open and released a tremendous, hissing, screaming plume of steam.  Tiny metal bits from the plug melded themselves into the bottom of my stove hood and the whole room filled with a steam that reeked of burnt potatoes.

Double Creature Feature (before the kablooey)
Sigh.  So now I'm back down to one canner until I replace the safety plug. I am grateful that the safety device worked as it should have; the alternative is terrible to contemplate!

I did get three dozen ears of corn out of my garden, and decided to can it all up.  The ears weren't very big so it didn't take long to get them shucked and clean.  I've tried a lot of ways to get the kernels off the cob, and through trial and error found that using an electric knife works the best.  I put an upside down jar in the middle of a bowl, balance the cob on it, and buzz away, letting the kernels fall into the bowl.  This keeps them from flying all over the room and sticking to my eyebrows.  I pack the kernels into hot, clean pint jars and process them in my single solitary pressure canner for the full 55 minutes.  I've finally gotten pretty good at timing the cool down period, so as not to lose liquid out of the jars, but also to get ready for processing the next batch as quickly as possible.

Goes quick with the electric knife

Most of the kernels stay in the bowl

So far I have just under 20 pints each of corn and beans, and about two dozen quarts of potatoes; along with several quart jars of dried peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes.  Not much of a harvest, to be sure, but it's better than nothing, and I'm not done yet!  The adventure continues.....hopefully without anymore kablooey.

Until next time, God bless each of you.

1 comment:

  1. Oh gosh I am sittin here laffin my arse off. The way you wrote the story was so funny but dang for something to blow when ya least expect it in the kitchen is not funny by any means.
    YOur method of cuttin corn looks neat, I am so use to using a knife an holding the corn just right I can cut it off faster than any corn cutter off gadget. But I alas end up usin several bandaids tho too. lol