01 September 2009


The weekend before Labor Day was the new pressure canner's maiden voyage - its inaugural canning session - its premiere - its opening night - its debut. To prepare I got up early on Saturday to go to the Brookside Farmers Market (where everything's organic!) and I took my Ball Blue Book of preserving with me so I'd know what I needed. In addition to the mountain of tomatoes I had already begun to collect from Fair Share Farm and Badseed, I was hunting specifically for corn at Brookside. And I found plenty. Not knowing exactly what I was doing - I consulted the farmer at the stand and we decided that I needed a whopping 36 ears of corn, which she sold to me at a discount.

That evening I settled in at the dining room table to shuck all 36 ears. (Oh, the corn husk dolls I could have made - families of corn husk dolls, indeed a village of corn husk dolls.) Then Sergio and I scraped every kernel off every cob. A juicy, messy endeavor. We filled six pint jars with corn kernels and would have filled a seventh if I'd had it. (The last bit of corn went into the freezer, instead). I read the instruction manual closely, slowly, repeatedly and out loud, just to be safe. (Everyone keeps telling me pressure canning horror stories - as if I weren't already anxious enough in the kitchen.) I followed each step of the procedure and in just one short hour and a half, I had six jars of corn, still bubbling when I took them out, but ready to stand by for the winter. And - no small victory - all 6 jars sealed.


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