What is my life really, if not an adventure? I try some things, they work splendidly. Others … well, not so much. I like to think that even when I’m seemingly surrounded by rednecks and tobacco-spitters on all sides, I’m only one backroads turn-off from the checkered tablecloths in Welfare, the mossy banks of the Medina or the peach-colored skies that drip over small town favorites Blanco and Twin Sisters…
It was an adventurous summer, in kind of a bizarre way. I went off and got myself bit, oh yes, BIT, by a brown recluse spider. In my sleep no less. I bitched about it on Facebook for WEEKS. Actually, for several months, because that is how long it took me to recover.
And in between visits to the doc-in-a-box for the latest round of (largely) ineffective steroids, antibiotics and other bullshit, I cooked and canned my stove into an early death. That’s right. I’ve pretty much killed the most important appliance in my kitchen aside from the fridgie. And we know how I feel about Fridgies….
Now two out of four burners will not answer when I call their name and I’m checking out online sales and trying to coax another month out of them. No sale.
I canned everything in sight this summer. From delicate apricots steeped in amaretto, pickles, corn relish and plum chutney to strawberries boozed up with Jack Daniels, I learned how to dry pack grains into aluminum bunker-ready cans, faced my illogical fear of the pressure cooker to make spaghetti meat sauce and hosted several canning parties to share the love.
And I love to share. Food, cooking, my friends, what an awesome thing. Now while the photo above was taken while I was having an amazing allergic reaction to the prescription medication that I was TOTALLY FREAKING ALLERGIC TO, you can’t deny there is a lovely hazy glow that is completely un-pharmaceutical in this room.
Something about cooking together brings out happiness.
Maybe its the prospect of fruit that you can eat and need a cab ride home from later. (well, if I’m canning it, it is) Maybe its the promise of having yummy food that we made ourselves, ready later when we don’t feel like cooking, just one crimp of the bottle opener away from spaghetti nirvana…
Who knows. I realize now, as we head into October, I may be addicted. I find myself wondering what is seasonal that I could can up. Thanks to my friends Russ and Jackie, dry canning is one 50# bag of oats, rice or … lentils away.
You haven’t lived until you’ve made quick business out of a year’s supply of beans or pasta or hot cocoa powder. Then it won’t matter how many zombies there are outside your house. You can make some bean-pasta for dinner, drink your intoxicated brandy pears and forget about all that.
Knowing how to do all these things is a good thing. It means you will do just fine.
So, when I’m taking that next backroads exit … and I see the sign off to the side for a farmer’s stand, I’ll stop. You can’t beat the call of the diy adventure. Its calling for you … carrrrz its pepper and tomato time!
Oh, and if you’re like me, and you have a bread-maker, you can have a slice of 7-grain happiness to go with that.