The canning class was...interesting. There was a cerifiable crazy lady there who took her pants off near the end of class. (I couldn't make this up.) While I have only tried to can one thing a few months ago, I really didn't learn much from that class except that I CAN put up tomatoes in a water bath if I put enough lemon juice in it and don't need a pressure canner.
Which is good because folks are unloading their tomatoes on me since mine never quite took off. Office Wife just gave us a huge bag of tomatoes that I'll hopefully be able to put up in the next few days. I am so ridiculously excited to have canned tomatoes for the winter. I'm hoping to see if there are any heirloom 'maters at the farmers market next week because, hello, that would be sooooo much tastier.
Anyway, it is always comforting to me to realize that I know more than I thought I knew. Canning is a bit scary to me so it was good to find out that I have a handle on how to do it and it isn't as terrifying as I thought it would be.
It was a 4-hour class that lasted over 6 hours. We canned over 200 products. I came home with zucchini pickles, some other pickle-thing, barbeque sauce, peach and almond jam, bruchetta topping (so frakin' good. I'm definitely going to can up a lot of this in the next few weeks. It was absolutely heavenly and I can't wait to give folks a can of summer goodness when February rolls around and everyone is sick of the cold and wet), and corn relish.
I'm having a hard time mentally with these classes. AwesomeHusband knew I was going to have to wrestle with it and is hoping that I can just ignore it. It's the same thing I've ranted about in this journal: dealing with terminal deepness. Or, as in a South Park episode, people in love with the smell of their own farts.
This time it was a one-upsman-ship about how organic everyone is eating and also a contest on who has the most food allergies. So weird. It is natural to talk about food and gardening in a canning class. I mean, we're dealing with food and harvest. But really. We're all here. We all know why we are here--to keep our harvest, to make things ourselves, to know what it is that we are putting into our bodies, to reclaim an art that is often lost in urban areas. Do we really have to go on and on and on about how Super Eco we are??
The best (and least eyerolling) conversation I ended up having was talking to someone about breadbaking and cheesemaking who really is encouraging me to just try the "bread in 5 minutes a day" thing. She had some really good points and I might actually try it out. We were laughing about how easy it is to get all revved up into making the Perfect Loaf of Bread when you read all these books from artisinal masters and how ridiculous it is because, it's just bread, and it doesn't have to take 4 days. We shared failures with one another and it was NICE. it wasn't pretentious. I learned things. I hope I gave her some information too.
I just tell myself that there are little gems in all of this and so I gotta just keep pushing on. Sometimes I wished I lived back in the Midwest and somewhere more rural where all these things are just things that you do and there isn't any snobbery about it. You bake bread. You make jam. You tend to livestock. You sew and you reap.