I cannot to save my life correctly estimate jar to produce ratio. The only - and I mean only - reason you will not find me washing extra jars in the middle of the filling-hot-jars stage is because I know this about myself and always prep way more than I think I'll need. Case in point - this morning thought, yeah I think about 5 pints of pickles will be enough this year, yeah I'll just use all these cukes I got from the garden this week. Seems about right. 8 pints of pickles later I'm mentally flipping though the Christmas list deciding who will get some with a bow on it!
And really, a few jars extra isn't any big deal. Let's talk about the 24 quarts of peaches I still have in my basement from last year. Who likes peaches??
Clearly small batch canning is a challenge for me. I like things in bulk.
You'll remember that last Christmas I got a new stove from multiple family members. I was so, so excited to can on it this summer. And it truly is awesome. I can use any burner (I know, can you imagine?) and all heat equally. I knew though going in that we'd have to do something about the hood we have over the stove. It's super low and I've always had issues, but seeing as how this stove sits a little higher than the last one - also because of the new floors, it's really probably unsafely low. Plan was to treat myself to a new hood for my birthday and figure out somewhere else to put our microwave. Giving me an extra 8 inches at least.
I forgot about it until I tried to put my big canning pot on the back burner today. Shoot. Birthday long gone.
There's not enough room for me to even put the lid on the pot on the back burners. Which just means when the water bath is happening I send the kids outside as I don't trust them near the flame that's necessary to keep that much water boiling being on the front burner.
I really feel like that sentence structure was only acceptable because I've inhaled too much vinegar today.
It smells very briny in my kitchen right now. Not entirely unpleasant.
Every year I do this I'm surprised at the level of comfort I've attained at canning. This year I didn't even have to run through my mental checklist as I started the process, I just knew what I needed to pull out. And I mean I'm blogging as I do it for goodness sake. I'm super proud that this has become routine for me, for my family.
Every year though I forget to wear shoes. Some year I'm going to regret that a lot more than I do every year when boiling pickle juice drips on my foot.
Two favorite summer sounds in the kitchen? The jars processing in the water bath and the pop of the lids as they sit on the counter. Love it.
Best thing about canning this weekend? It's only 77 out! When I made strawberry jam a couple months ago I think it was close to 100. This is way better. Every August should have a week of record lows so all the canners can enjoy themselves a little bit more.
Time to finish the bread and butter pickles and then move on to some tomato sauce.