Monday, July 16, 2007

Eric's trip to the cannery

Eric fought me in going to the cannery with my dad. "I am not going, I don't want to go. Please I would rather stay home." I made him go anyway. My dad uses a cane and he wouldn't be able to handle the boxes to put them all in the trunk.

We started out Thursday morning with a bushel of green beans to be strung and snapped. I bought them at the Farmer's Market at 7:15, had them home at 7:24, still had time to get ready for work. I left 2 huge bags of beans in the kitchen, hoping that Eric would do something.

I got home at lunch and started showing him how to string and snap the beans. So, we did some while I was home and then I left him on his own. After a while he was begging me to stop! He got a bag done and I started on the other bag when I got home. I noticed the trash can was terribly heavy and I started going through it..... I found about 3 lbs of beans that he said wasn't any good. Nope, we don't throw stuff like that away.

Ok, rinse those off and get the others started. I had quite a bit done when Chuck got home. He sat down and started to help while Eric snapped them. We made pretty good time. I had blisters on my fingers from the knife, but we got them done by 8:15. All ready for the morning.

I had all the jars washed and boxed up and outside so that way my dad could put them right in the car. Turns out he had a 5 gallon bucket of tomato sauce that he was gonna can too. Of course he needed the jars that I just bought! So, I told him that he owes me 2 cases of pint jars.

He called me and told me that he was heading over to get Eric and go to the cannery. This cannery in town is about a mile away from my house and it is the only public cannery in the state of Tennessee. It is pretty cool what they have over there...more on that in a minute.

I came home for lunch, and I noticed that my dad and Eric aren't home yet. So, I head over to the cannery. Yep, there they are. My dad was sitting there with Eric right next to him. I asked if they were almost done, the beans were in the canner cooling off. Ok, not bad.

Eric started to tell me how he did everything. Eric did EVERYTHING. He cooked the beans for the right amount of time, canned them and put them in the canner. I was really shocked, I didn't expect Eric to tell me how everything worked and how he worked on everything. I didn't expect that.

Don't they look so delicious!

Now, since I found all of those extra green beans in the trash, I really thought that it would have been a push to get 21 quarts out of the bushel. I had to ask him how much we got... "Oh Mommy, I got 24 quarts of green beans." What???? I didn't expect that much. I don't think we will use that much, so if I see that we are getting to the years point, I will start sharing.

Dinner tonight was pork loin roast, dirty mashed potatoes and of course green beans. I started the green bean jar that wasn't completely full around 2. I went out to wash the car, came in and low and behold my beans were burning. BADLY! I mean when I dumped them out, there was black crap coming off the bottom of the pot. Oh well! I had to ditch the mess and start again.

I had to put the bacon in and salt, salt, salt. I forgot that Eric didn't salt the beans when he canned them. So, salt, salt, salt. I finally got them right. And they came out wonderful.

I went out today and I bought myself a pressure canner. I am so excited that I even got a new cookbook!! Canning and Preserving for Dummies. I also went out to get a dozen ears of corn. I am making cream corn tomorrow. I am so excited about this.

I love the new experiences for both Eric and myself. I love the chance for Eric and me to have some more wonderful memories. And I finally have something to talk to my dad about. We call each other to compare prices of jars, where the sales are, where to get the veggies from, to make stuff together. I know that I ramble on about it sometimes, but this is something nice that I can actually do with my boys and with my dad.