It is baffling, and somewhat disturbing, to know that I did all this in just a little over two weeks. When I decide I want to master a skill, I go at it with a single-mindedness that first surprises and later worries those who don't know me well. Like the summer I decided I was going to learn how to do a cartwheel, and spent most of my time with my hands on the ground and my feet in the sky. This is just what I am, never gonna change. I will say, though, that this has been an extraordinarily efficient way to go from Novice to Grand Canning Diva in no time at all.
And I'm not done yet. On Saturday my venerable neighbor Jen is coming over to unravel for me the mysteries of steam-pressure canning. With boiling water you can do acidic things just fine: pickles, fruits, and tomatoes. But if you want to, say, can jars of roasted red bell peppers, you need steam pressure. Roasted peppers are on the docket for Saturday, along with homemade veggie stock. (Ooooo, aaaahhh.)
On a different note, I was really excited to reclaim these shelves in my basement, and start using them again. Lots of old houses have sturdy, narrow shelves in the basement, where the resourceful lady of the house used to keep her canned goods. The precedent resourceful lady of my house was Anna Waldron, who lived here with her husband Frank until 1936. I can't take jars down to my cellar without thinking about her, smiling to know even though we're separated by almost a hundred years, we have something in common. We both put our canning jars on those shelves.