Southern Heat & New Experiences

It is Tuesday of my week and already I am exhausted. I know I know you don't read blogs to listen to a bunch of whining. So you won't get any.

The heat is exhausting it traps me in the house and steals part of my summer. I leave the house only when necessary and take the children to the pool once a day if possible to get wet.

We are homeschooling through the summer. So we work in the morning and try to stay cool in the afternoon. It keeps us from becoming mind rotted zombies in front of TV & video games. We don't spend the day fighting with each other and I don't have to hear how bored the kids are. Plus the great part is, we take a day here and there where we want to and my kids are slightly ahead of the other kids their age.

I am also learning to can. Now for those of you who have never lived in a rural area, to can means to preserve vegetables or fruits to use later on in the year. My husband has done the canning in our family for years, simply because I didn't have the time to learn. But now that I do and I should, I AM....

We begin part of our home economics program by preparing the ground for planting in mid May. We hoed and turned the ground in our front yard and then filled it with our garden. We have ( that I know of) 100 tomato plants, squash of several varieties, green beans, peas, cantelope, cucumbers, corn, eggplant, onions, garlic....and who knows what else is planted out there.

The garden is beginning to "come in". Which means that every day either my husband or I go into the garden and pick whatever is ready. Today I picked the green beans and we had gathered 7 quarts of beans since late last week. All picked, snapped, cleaned and packed into jars. My husband stood right beside me teaching me to can and making sure that I was doing it right. Trying very hard to listen to his instructions and follow them exactly, I begin. Boiled water on the stove and sprinkled some salt into each jar. Once the water was done I poured the boiling hot water just till it reached he bottom of the neck of each jar. Then heated the lids in boiling hot water, wipe the mouth of the jar, place the lid on, tighten the band down as tight as I could. ( My husband came behind me to make sure they were tight enough). Then down into the pressure canner they went, all seven at one time. I listened for about 15 minutes before the first hiss of the canner had me standing by the stove listening and counting. My husband had instructed do not let it continously hiss, there should be 8-10 seconds between hisses, so I had to adjust the temp to get it right. Waited 25 minutes while they boiled and hissed. Then they were done. When we returned from the pool a couple of hours later, removed them all from the canner. One had not sealed.... OH NO!!! did I do it wrong? Maybe, it didn't have enough water in the jar....... Not to worry it finally sealed down and seems to be fine. We will date these and sit them to the back of our pantry shelves where we have a great assortment of canned foods. These keep us going with fresh and organic produce during the winter. The 100 tomato plants will be our chili, pasta sauce, vegetable soup base, and will contribute to so many more dishes in our kitchen this winter.

I think I am finally adjusting to being a stay at home Mama. I am getting used to always having to do the dishes, or just finished the dishes.... I am also getting accustomed to managing my time at home and tackling little things I haven't done before. To be honest I feel like I have not been pulling my weight all these years. Crushed by the stress of the long drive and the stressful job and the crazy schedule, I let my poor husband do so much. I really don't think he knows what to do with me now. I think he sometimes wonders if I know what I am doing. But inside of me remains the country girl who grew up on a dairy farm. Everyone in my family had a garden and I have picked beans, shelled peas, snapped beans and anything else that needed doing to help out. It has been a while, but I still got it....somewhere.


belle said...

You never forget the basics - hang in there it will come!

Next you can try killing a pig and canning sausage!

Jenjie said...

OH NO!!! Been there and done that, unfortunately that is something I will never forget. I could tell you several engaging stories about killing hogs and stuffing sausage. The last time I did that I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with me 1st child. I was on my feet for 13 hours dealing with pig meat... I looked at my husband in the wee morning hours and said " I mean this in the best Christian way.... NEVER AGAIN!!!" And we have never done it again. On an up note there, my husband joined a church that doesn't eat pork... so I think I am safe :)