063 Shades of white

063 Shades of white

I’ve been longing for some light and color in my life. With the outside world stuck in dark, cold, and shades of white and gray, I did the next best things.

I recently learned that bee’s wax burns best after a few months of rest for the candles.

So far, I’d made the candles whenever we ran out. Then we immediately started using them. Whoops? One of the jars we’d used for the candles also recently burst when the flame got too close. Free-standing candles still overwhelmed me a bit. But I wanted to try.

We’d also somehow run out of canned potatoes again, so it was time to replenish the stock. With winter returned outside, I was fine with a day in the kitchen.

I made Marvin chop the potatoes–successfully this time. Thanks for helping me name the “stupid” machine.

I gave my clean jars a final hot rinse. I know they’ll be in the canner for three hours, but I’m paranoid. I added the sliced potatoes to the jars. Not having to chop made things a lot easier.

We’d also decided to try some of the jars without vinegar this time. I’d been processing for three hours anyway. And while the slight tang of apple-cider vinegar added to most meals, some things are better without.

That night, my husband opened up the candles, and we found them perfectly in shape. Yay! It had worked! There were some imperfections but they were mostly due to me remelting some candles that hadn’t fully burned. I scratched the date into the bottom of the candles and shortened the hemp wick.

Throughout the day, while editing a video, I returned to the kitchen to pour more wax. I also used my knives one last time before they’ll be gone for a few days. A few jars of diced potatoes, a few jars with fries. This will do.

There’s an entire video on the process of canning potatoes, so check that out if you have questions. In some jars, we skipped the vinegar this time. Do your own research; make your own decisions.

Canning in winter comes with weird side effects: chopping vegetables with a headband is one of them. We struggle with humidity in the apartment on a normal day, despite two large dehumidifiers in the apartment. We live in an old building that has been neglected by the owner for quite a while.

On canning days, the kitchen door stays closed, and the kitchen window open, no matter the temperatures outside. I guess it is a good thing that potatoes and beans are the only canning I do in winter.

I decided to let Marvin slice the last zucchini. With the kitchen this cold, I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. With some marinade, I added the zucchini to the fridge. Meanwhile, the diced zucchini was starting to smell and look so good!

Finally, I packaged up my knives to send them in for sharpening. And then I fled the kitchen for warmer areas of the apartment. But it was worth it: the shelf was filled with potatoes and beans.

There have been short pockets of sunshine in between the clouds and storms. We return to snow quickly, but I enjoy the occasional glimpses of blue skies in between. Most of the time, the outside is blanketed in shades of white.

Longing for some color, I picked up a project I started a few months ago.

This fall, my husband printed me a bird house. And then it took me months to come up with the courage to try. What if I messed up a perfectly good print? What if we didn’t like the colors I chose? And the most ridiculous part: I knew the first step was to paint on some chalky foundation. I didn’t even need to decide on colors yet.

Painting white on white was oddly therapeutic. Seriously, this was more calming than I expected. It was often hard to see where I’d already painted, but in the end, I got it all coated.

Now, the paint needed to dry, so I had an excuse to not pick colors yet. For now, the house fit well into the shades of white outside.

So long, and thanks for being here.