Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Adventures of Lucy and Ethel

So, there are times when my husband tells me that me and PiP remind him of Lucy and Ethel. He seems to think that we come up with cockamamie plans and hair-brained schemes. Well...I take great exception to that (though it's possible he just may be right).

Peaches were on sale last week. They were only 39 cents (where's the little 'c' thingy?) a pound. Well, that got me thinking...I should live up to my Mormon woman potential and can some peaches.

I called resident canning expert/partner in see if she'd want to help. We talked about the pros and cons of doing them ourselves as opposed to just buying the gigantic can of them at Costco. I was swayed by the status it would give me to have peaches, canned by me, lining the shelves of my pantry. I knew I would be able to wear that badge with much honor.

Well, PiP contacted a knowing friend and called me back to burst my bubble. She spoke of boiling, peeling, making syrup, fruit fresh, pressure cookers, etc. until all I could imagine was Lucy and Ethel covered with sticky, slimy peaches.

The conversation turned to freezer jam. A less than valiant effort as far as I was concerned, but better than nothing (because, honestly, I LOVE peach jam...canned peaches...not so much). I relinquished myself to remaining at the same, mediocre level of Mormon-womanhood and decided freezer jam would have to do. Then PiP, sensing my sadness at the loss, suggested something...a brilliant, sweet, sticky suggestion that made me feel a bit redeemed...REGULAR peach jam. You know, the kind in a jar...with a lid that has to seal and one of those ring thingys that keeps it closed - just like canning? This had me I have never (with the exception of helping my mom when I was a kid) 'canned' anything and this was just the ticket!

Monday she came over and we got right to work. We had quite a system worked out, and despite my tiny kitchen things were going along pretty smoothly. We even joked about how Lucy and Ethel would have crushed the peaches with their bare feet, and maybe we should give it a try. Don't worry, we just laughed about it and used the immersion blender instead. We used different types of pectin and even kept all of that straight. We did manage, however to use EVERY bowl and pan in the house, and PiP was a real trooper helping me with mine while I was babysitting a 1 year old.
PiP got to be in the pictures because she looked cute. I didn't, but if you want you can imagine me standing next to her looking as cute as she does...thanks.

We got clear to the putting them in the jars part...the jars were clean, and the lids on tightly and she got them in the pressure cooker to seal them.

At this point everything became a little hazy. I think my blood-sugar was low because all I remember was something about sticky dirty dishes...and maybe some question about whether or not the pressure cooker was the best choice for sealing the jars.

In the end, we regained consciousness, and rescued our jars from the cooker. We had a couple of overflow casualties but all-in-all, the end result was rows of liquid sunshine to adorn our pantry shelves.

We were such pros by this time, we quickly whipped-up a couple batches of freezer jam...just to show off.

Thank goodness it all worked out or we may have had some 'splainin' to do. Thanks for a fun day, 'Lucy'.


Jen said...

Look at you being all mormony!! Way to go, looks yummy!

Cookie Mama said...

Beautiful jars for your pantry! I am impressed with your sweet homemaking skills!

Celia Fae said...

I love the part about how you wanted to be an authentic mormon woman. I feel that pressure sometimes and it never ends well. I'm glad it worked for you. Please send some jam quick.

The Scotts said...

Way to put that Mormon feeling in your home and pantry! I admire you and it looks lovely. I am glad that you didn't smash them with your feet too. That would have been goowey!!

Pineapple Princess said...

I sincerly thought we would have overcome our Lucy and Ethel antics, after all, it was just jam.
At least we didn't end up with wall paper all over us.

Thanks for the memories.

hawley crew said...

you are way to brave to attempt such a feat. Good for you! I just rely on my good mormon sisters to do such work, and share the rewards. HEHE!I love your summer recap stories, soooo cute.

lackrik said...

WOW!! Totally impressed with your canning skills!