057 Three things, three days

057 Three things, three days

There are three things I needed to get done in one day to avoid wasting food, but my food processor broke, and things fell apart. Nonetheless, I canned potatoes, broke apart a whole chicken, and got my kombucha done. A day with three tasks turned into three days.

There are three things I need to get done today, because otherwise I’ll be wasting food. And there is no way I’m going to do that. I have to can potatoes–a lot of them. I think it is 5.5-ish kilos. I have to drain and re-tea, well, make a new batch of kombucha. And I have to take apart and deal with a whole chicken.

I got to work. The food processor I’d just gotten from my mom made very quick work of the first potatoes. The bliss would not last very long, but for now, I was content to watch the machine chop.

I immediately filled the first jar. I weighed things to get an idea how much more potato fits when it’s slices.

These are the darkest days of the year, so I let myself wear headphones as much as I feel like.

There is an entire video on how (and why) I can my potatoes. So, I won’t go into details again here.

I finished the first jar very quickly. I still believed I would be able to get three things done that day. The first jar’s success made me very hopeful.

Within minutes, the first jar was ready to can. Yay! When you first close the jar, the tab is wobbly and more or less horizontal.

And that’s when the food processor broke down. I would need to chop the rest of the potatoes by hand.

I’d read about this happening in reviews before choosing the machine. I was careful. Not careful enough. I took apart the machine to take photos for the warranty claim.

I really wanted to go curl up under a blanket somewhere, but I needed to deal with the potatoes I’d chopped. So, I added them to jars with vinegar, salt, and water. I sealed the jars while I poured some coffee for a much needed break. I was frustrated.

I had decided to rely on a machine, and now all my plans for the day needed to change. I didn’t like it. The fact that I still hadn’t found a company to sharpen my knives made things all the much worse.

A little while later, I returned to the kitchen. I was still grumpy but I needed to get this done. At least, the weather had gotten a lot worse, and there was no longer any temptation to go for a walk. Grumble…

With dull knives, I butchered the potatoes. I even managed not to hurt myself. Though paranoia was the watch word…

By the time I had to turn on the lights (so, early afternoon), I had a lot of potatoes left. I was losing spoons and concentration. Everything was taking longer, because I kept forgetting steps.

I got the canner off my kitchen shelf–isn’t it turning into a pretty thing? I can hardly wait to show you all of that.

I had enough jar to start the first load. The canner is ginormous and holds 14 of the smaller jars. I knew I had more than one batch but less than two full ones, so I would be adding beans to fill things up. They essentially work the same as potatoes, just that you leave room for them to expand.

I remembered I’d wanted to start the first batch, so I got a bucket of water, and filled up the canner. I waterbath my potatoes but please do your own research before making a choice here.

The grabber thing I own is very cheap. I don’t trust it, and it takes forever to get a good grip. But it does the job, so I am reluctant to replace it.

I filled up the water to the maximum line to make sure I wouldn’t run out of water. The jars and the canner both say submerging is the way to go, so I’ve decided it’s okay.

We were hungry, so I opened up two of the just-finished jars for a late dinner.

In the air fryer, canned potatoes are a quick meal. When I first heard about air fryers, I thought they were a joke. Well, jokes on me, I guess. This thing has been a meal saver over and over.

In a much better mood, I woke up to a canner full of food the next morning.

The chicken was now getting urgent. I’d wanted to break it apart the day before (as you know).

“All done.”

Now, we’ll have to eat all parts of this chicken over the next three days. That’s a lot of meat for us. I am still learning how to do this. I am slowly getting the gist, but as I don’t do this a lot, it takes time. Pepper would like chicken day more often, as it means he gets fresh meat.

I marinated the thighs immediately, so we could enjoy them for dinner with some of the sliced potatoes. I used some of my go-to spice mixture (smoked paprika, onion, garlic, salt, cayenne).

It was oddly satisfying to add all the finished jars to the shelf. It’s always great to see hard work pay off. You can see all the little tabs pointing down now. They are sealed.

I had roasted the chicken bones to make stock. It smelled unfairly delicious for being mostly what you don’t eat.

I added dried onions and parsley, some fresh carrots I’d chopped the day before, and some spices. As so often, don’t ask me for a recipe, as I have no clue what I’m doing here. A snack for me, a snack for Pepper. Okay, another one for me, and I was done.

Our large stock pot has been lost in one of the many moves. So, I broke the carcass to fit the pot.

I had left most of the skin on the meat, so there wasn’t much to render fat from: Just enough for a one-person lunch with leftover pasta from the day before.

Yes, a pan or larger pot would have been better, but the pot is filled with stock, and then the pan doesn’t fit. The downsides of a two-burner stove, I guess.

With some garlic powder and chili flakes, it was the ideal lunch for me. Fast, filling, and delicious. It works.

Replenished by the meal, I set out to finish my third task: kombucha. But with the pot and stove occupied by the stock, I didn’t get further than measuring tea and sugar.

I lowered the stock to a simmer, and postponed the tea. It’s not as warm in the kitchen, so it should be fine. When the stock was finally done (and tasted worth every second), I pulled the meat off the bones. This chicken has given their life. I won’t waste any of what they gave me.

I bottled the stock, and made another quick dinner. While the chicken thighs baked in the air fryer, I sautéed some potatoes. When the chicken was done, I transferred the potatoes to the air fryer to finish off, and sliced the meat.

The next morning, I finally drained the kombucha. Luckily, it was still good to drink.

Three tasks had spread to three days. But in the end, I got it all done. No food was wasted, and the fridge was filled with food for the following days.

This time, I even removed some of the scobies. It was high time.

I’d gotten it all done. Worth every bit of mess that was now surrounding me.

So long, and thanks for being here.