“I am woman hear me roar ….’ We all know Helen Reddy’s famous song from 1971, which bolstered our weak feminine resolve and strengthened our grit in order to take on the world with a guitar in one hand and a spatula in the other, saying in a single look, “Dare me to use either of these!”
That is how I felt the second year we were here, and we had a bumper crop of fruits, veggie and animal bi-products. (The first year fell under the category of “You’re not ready to do anything because you don’t know a carrot from a green bean or a Brussels sprout from a korabi … Wait, is a korabi even a real animal?) With all of earth’s bounty spread out in color-coordinated piles in front of me (okay, I’m a tad OCD) every canning, preserving and root cellar how-to book in the library to the left of me In alphabetic order (OCD) and all manner of farmhouse equipment that Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond has in her kitchen to the right and behind me, I was ready and no tomato or sweet pea was going to beat me at this game of preserving my harvest. After that progress is made with one more jar of something sealing than the year before. One more freeze-dried strawberry successfully sucked dry of its life-giving moisture than the year before.
I know y’all are waiting for the other shoe to drop, so here it is; no matter how successful I was canning corn or creating the best goat milk cheese, I could not do two things at once. It’s as if the night before, the tomatoes had a meeting with the grape leaves agreeing that as long as I only tried canning/pickling one of them, they would cooperate and sit in their shiny clean jars sparkling like the refreshing jewels they were. But … if I dared do half the steps in processing the tomatoes, then ran over to the sink to complete the cleaning of the grape leaves, the tomatoes would boil over causing me to drop every one of the clean grape leaves on the floor, rush over to grab the tomatoes off the stove to cool down. (I’m sure plenty of you out there have experienced the same catastrophes.) No matter what pairing of vegetables/fruit etc. I tried, disaster abounded.
I have since resigned myself to preserving one item at a time, taking me twice the days to complete the harvest. Yes, 50-plus years of learning and developing multi-tasking skills down the drain for the more “leisurely” lifestyle in my old age. Enjoy your harvest!