It has been one of those days. I just couldn’t win. I tried. And lost.
You know how it goes, my friend? Starting the day wrong, not because you want to but because you don’t know which way is the right way to start? In a tired daze, you fumble about the kitchen, spilling tea or coffee, burning toast and frying eggs to blackened perfection because you forgot about them while staring out the window…at nothing?
Well, I didn’t fry eggs today. Instead, I boiled them to rubbery perfection. Like bouncy balls. Nothing a bit of salt, pepper, fresh-pressed garlic and mustard couldn’t fix!
I did say I started the day wrong, right?!
I had things to do with my Saturday! At first, it went well. Outside chores accomplished, dishes were washed and butter made without any mishaps. But then? It started going downhill.
Beginning with homemade vinegar.
THE CHOKING INCIDENT
For the past 6-8 weeks I’ve had five large jars sitting on the counter near our kitchen sink. Juices transforming to vinegar. They were taking up too much space! I couldn’t stack as many dirty dishes as I liked. Yes, we’ve been washing by hand again. With only two of us, it makes sense…most of the time!
I’m a bit possessive about counter space because we have so little of it. I wanted it back! Vinegar needed to be bottled up and stored in the cold room. Outta my way and outta my space!
But do you think I remembered to label each variety??? Nope! So naturally, I had to taste them to distinguish one from the other.
Taking a big spoonful, I gulped down the dark purple liquid. Or tried to. Somehow, a portion of it went up. Yep, into my nose. Let’s just say vinegar (especially strong plum vinegar) was meant to stay in the mouth, throat and stomach. I coughed. I choked. It burned.
And the day fell apart.
THE DRAINPIPE INCIDENT
I attempted to strain scraps from my apple cider vinegar. Working over the kitchen sink I sent the jar’s contents through a colander. Vinegar was caught in a bowl below while the solids stayed behind. Yes, and they were the only thing that stayed behind!
Being frugal minded, I just had to press on the scraps to release more vinegar. Of course, the handle broke off the colander and as it fell, it tipped the ‘catch bowl’ and quick as a flash, all my vinegar went gurgling down the kitchen drain pipe.
I just stared. Then dumped the tiny remaining pool down the drain after it all. I had to stay focused. There was tomato sauce to be made!
THE TOMATO INCIDENT
I’m lazy and but like to get as much nutrition from my food as possible. Hence the reason I puree cooked tomatoes before canning them. To break down the seeds and skin. Today, I was making my first-ever batch of tomato sauce.
It was going well, until we reached a particular moment, when I thought the blender’s lid was secure. Of course (you knew this was coming, right?!), it! was! not! Sauce flew everywhere. Walls, floor, cupboards and counter received “texture” in tomato red, as did the clean shirt I’d put on for the day. Worse yet, my bare right arm also received a good ‘splat.’
Wanna know something even more ridiculous? The exact same thing happened to me last year. You’d think I would have learned, particularly after that incident. I’d never been so badly burned in my life! Howls went forth and clothes came off in a flash as I dashed for the bathtub. So eager was I to cool my burned and blistered skin, I almost dove into the bathtub!
Know what else? My lil’ sis was there helping and she had the nerve to laugh at my howls. Said she couldn’t help it, so strange was it to see and hear her usually composed, collected sister yowling like fur-less coyote with its tail afire!
This time, it wasn’t nearly so bad. I just danced a jig, ran my arm under water and then started to clean up the splatters. No blisters, no year-long scars.
When my man came into the kitchen to see what all the ruckus was about, I told him I needed to go back to bed. Like really! I was supposed to make sauerkraut with a friend just after lunch.
I lay down and found a fitful sleep.
THE SAUERKRAUT INCIDENT
When kraut making time came, the cabbages just happened to be slime and bug infested. Disgusting! We hacked and chopped our way through them, rinsing the chopped pieces to ensure the removal of pests and pounded until our arms felt as if they would fall off.
What can I say? Some days, you just can’t win!
MOMENTS I DID WIN
As I reflect back, I realize that no, I didn’t win the day. But I did have winning moments!
Though things were slightly chaotic, I was still able to lend a listening ear to a friend.
For the first time ever I successfully made and pressure canned thick, hearty red tomato sauce. I didn’t even blow up the pressure canner!
I witnessed my man’s love and care. He took over my evening chores and attempted to clean the tomato splattered stove. He even massaged my tight muscles, a by-product of kraut pounding!
And as the day draws to a close, I get to write this rambling blog post. Does that count for something?