Monday, September 26, 2011

Everybody Can Can!

Obviously, I haven't been posting much. I've made a few new things, though I'll admit I haven't been sticking to my 7 recipes a week model. Funny how that happened. I got to this part of my resolution and suddenly I didn't feel so excited to learn new methods of cooking. But then, this weekend, I got to try canning for the first time with a friend I rarely get to see, and it sort of reminded me why I got into cooking in the first place.

You see, I'm usually in my kitchen cooking alone. I'm usually staving off boredom, or trying to convince myself that one day I'll have people to cook for besides my husband, people to cook with besides my husband. Not that I don't love cooking for and with my husband; it's just that we live here, with these pots and pans, every day. There isn't much special about making chili for the millionth time, even my special pumpkin chipotle turkey chili. It's practical. It's normal. At one point, cooking together was super romantic and it bonded us together, but at this point I don't know that there's any bonding left to do. It's like saying you'll bond with your own organs.

But this weekend, I was able to cook with someone I've never cooked with before. On top of that, she taught me something: she taught me the basics of canning. We made blueberry syrup and blueberry butter (no part of the blueberry was wasted). It was a cool fall morning with a bit of a bluster outside, but we cooked the fruit on the deck, on this super cool gas stove, and we put screens on top of the pots to keep the pine needles out. While we waited for the juice to drain for the syrup, we talked about Cary Grant and how we really prefer him in comedic roles, like in Arsenic and Old Lace (which Ian and I watched when we got home, later that evening). And when we were done, we had lovely sealed jars of some really fantastic product, good for keeping for at least a year. My friend also sent me home with several other jams and such that she'd canned earlier this year, several of which are experiments in a special kind of pectin that allows jams and jellies to set with less sugar. I can't wait to try them all. I'm going to have to bake some bread.

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