070 Kitchen catch-up chaos

070 Kitchen catch-up chaos

Things had been piling up. Now that I was finally able to do things again, it was time to tackle them. So, I canned potatoes, baked some bread, and took care of a million little things. I am so glad, I can finally do things again.

Okay, there are a lot of things I need to catch up on: There are potatoes that have been waiting to be canned for two weeks. I also need to clean the kitchen up a little bit, bake a bread, and just, in general, put things back where they belong. I’m still pretty sick, and I got my periods, so I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do this. But I’m going to see how far I get.

My husband collected quite a few Judas’ Ears which were in full season while we were down with the flu. I’d barely had enough energy to clean and dehydrate them, so they were in random jars. I added them all to a proper jar, and happily saw just how many we had.

With the mushrooms off my counter, I worked on some bread. I’d started a pre-ferment that morning.

Time to turn that into dough. Yes, there is often milk in my bread. The only leftover from a soft-bread recipe. Sourdough starter, water, flour, salt, and sometimes milk. That’s that.

Marvin can handle the kneading while I do other things. The only downside to having Marvin deal with the dough is that he’s loud. I hate noise.

Speaking of machines… Bob isn’t properly cleaning the dishes at the moment. The “surgery” will be in the next episode 😉

Ten minutes later, Marvin was done with the dough–and I was ready for the noise to stop. I needed the bowl for other noisy things, so I transferred the dough to a bowl instead. The dough was a tiny bit on the runny side, but it’s fine. It’ll make great bread.

After two weeks out of commission, I had to deal with a lot of carrots and beets in the fridge drawer. I even had to add some to the compost. I’m sorry, little roots. I did not mean to waste you.

Marvin made quick work of those that were still good. We mix Pepper’s dog food ourselves. He’ll be happy about these carrot and beet shreds.

Later that day, I formed the bread rolls.

The next morning, I chopped the potatoes–and messed up. I kept adding potatoes to the chute without paying attention to the bowl. And broke that stupid plastic part again.

This time, it’s all on me. Well, except for the blame that goes to whoever designed this machine so breakable. Resigned, I disassembled the unit. I’ll have to order the part again. 17 bucks gone… Charging that much for a sacrificial part is what really makes me mad at them. Well, at least the fries looked good…

I had managed to chop about half of the potatoes before I messed up, so it was still a lot easier this way. But once again, I was chopping by hand, because the machine didn’t work.

I chopped, and chopped, and chopped. Now that I had started, I had to finish at least a canner load. I had to get the potatoes into jars. By the time I was done, my back was calling me an idiot.

If you want to know how and why I can potatoes, there is an entire video on that. This time, I used no vinegar at all. Slowly, the canner was filling up. I was getting close to calling it a day.

I’ve got this really bad sinus headache. Focusing on anything is just very, very hard. After, I can’t look at even the lightest bit of light.

It’s like a migraine but I know it’s just the sinuses being stuffed. And it’s really annoying. I just focused on the potatoes for way too long, so it’s gotten a lot worse over the last hour or so. So, I’m going to head to the couch and do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day.

But the first batch-and-a-half of potatoes is done. The first batch is in the canner. I’ve got some work prepared for tomorrow, for the second batch. And then, I just got to finish half a batch. I can manage that. So, almost done.

Okay, let’s get to it. I have half a batch of potatoes to do. I need to take the old batch out of the canner and replace it with what I prepared yesterday and prepare that final half batch.

I also need to exchange the stove, which is broken again… And, we are switching to a different one, so I have to figure out how to make that work with the kitchen space. Yeah, lot’s to do. Still don’t feel very well but we’re going to get to it.

I removed the first batch from the canner, took off the clips, and stacked them to let them dry for labeling. I moved the prepared jars from the fridge to the waterbath. I was so happy to only have half a batch left.

I quickly set up the new stove, as I needed the packaging for the return of the old one. It’s a bit bigger than the old one. But it also has two equal large plates, so I’m hopeful.

I chopped the rest of the potatoes. For potatoes that had been stored for two weeks after washing, most still looked great. Only three or four potatoes at the very bottom of the bowl had given up. Thankfully, little waste.

It’s actually quite simple. Let me reopen this.

So, we have the actual jar. We have the jar lid. And, the seal itself is individual, because the seal is the only part that you regularly need to replace. So, the seals you can buy individually. Instead of buying the lid with all that aluminum, you just buy the seal. And you don’t have to replace the seal after every canning process, so that’s nice, too.

And then when you are ready to can, you just put these little clips on. Instead of when you would screw on your ring, we just have these little clips.

And what you can see… let me get one of the ones I canned overnight. Here you see that this tab goes all the way down.

It has this “floop-floop” to the bottom. It also moves a lot harder. Whereas the unsealed one is going straight. And it’s very “wobbeldy-wobbeldy.” And after canning, this is going to look like this. Okay, let’s get this back. Seal this final jar… And we’re ready to can.

Another thing that’s probably weird to you is that I fill my canner to the max line. So, all the jars are submerged. I know you don’t do that in huge parts of the US. But that’s how both the jar manufacturer and the manufacturer of the canner say to do it. It means I don’t have to refill anything when I do a 3-hour water bath. That’s worth it to me.

With all the potatoes done, I sat down to watch a political debate, as this one affected me personally. The opposition fought tooth and nail. While Pepper dozed, I tried not to get pissed off. In the end, we won. I still can’t believe it.

Later, I returned to the kitchen to shelf the jars.

All these potatoes, I canned over the last few days. I am so happy, because this is going to be so many easy meals.

I make everything with canned potatoes. I mean, I do use raw potatoes very occasionally. But, usually, I use these. I use these for potato salad, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, potato gratin. I use canned potatoes for all of that.

They never last long. This is a convenience food where I have to work hard for a day or two, and then I don’t have to worry about potatoes for weeks. I love canned potatoes.