Wasted day?

I should have known the kind of day that lay in store for me when I was woken at 5am to the sound of a cat being violently sick upstairs. Oh god, I thought, there goes the steam cleaning. And went back to sleep.

I actually did get a lot done today. I strained my first batch of Greek yogurt and flavored it with some homemade strawberry-peach jam. I started my next batch (and actually Googled directions this time) and already the results look delicious. This one I am not going to flavor – I will stir in jam or honey as I eat it, but otherwise leave it plain in the jar where it can double as sour cream or mayonnaise if I need it to, and work equally well in pound cake, salad dressing, dip, or on tacos.

I also skinned and chopped about 25 farmer’s market perfect peaches and 10 pounds of home-grown, heirloom variety tomatoes. I saved three cups of the peach slices to make a blackberry-peach cobbler later on this week (Oh. My. I’ve finessed the BEST COBBLER EVER and I’ll tell you about it as soon as I can type without drooling). I canned the rest of the peaches in a light syrup, thinking alternately of peach pies and simple peaches with dinner. Then I canned the chopped tomatoes with some fresh-squeezed lemon juice and kosher salt. That part was all easy and fun – I even made a quick trip out to the Patch to pick another 3 lbs of tomatoes.

(I even got four shirts ironed before my morning shower, and started bright and early on my first Etsy-Alchemy commissioned project – a series of three maternity gowns. I’ve washed and pressed the not inconsiderable material, as well as traced up a pattern. I should be able to cut and sew tomorrow, and maybe even get one or two finished!)

But the fun started when a quart jar of peaches – almost $10 worth of peaches – cracked in half in the water bath, leaving shards of peaches and bountiful quantities of syrup boiling around in there. And if you know how long it takes to heat a full canner to boiling, you’ll understand that I was Not. Starting. Over. I gritted my teeth, scooped shredded peaches out with the deep-fry spider, considered the merits of accidentally ingesting glass shards and then woefully consigned the peaches to the compost.

Click below to read more…

85 minutes later I took out the sticky, peach-covered tomato jars to find that they were seeping tomato-colored liquid from under their lids.  And they looked funny – the chunks were floating on the tops of the jars, frothy, and the bottoms were filled with liquid that looked awfully like water. I am terrified that the lids were so loose (though I checked and the bands were screwed tight) that water got inside and I just straight up boiled my tomatoes for an hour and a half.

Then, as I was upstairs surfing teh webz to get over my disappointment with the canning, I got the inspector’s report from our buyer, and the list of stuff they want us to fix before settlement. Some of it is legitimate, but about half of it seems to be stuff they want us to install that was never there in the first place – GFI outlets in the kitchen, or running a line to hook up our ice-maker – or replacing stuff that just needs to be repaired (the refrigerant line to the HVAC unit has dry-rot on the insulation. I’ll buy new insulation for it, but I really am not going to pay $1000 to replace a perfectly good pipe). We’re happy to repair broken stuff, but that’s repair, not upgrade. So that made me extra grouchy.

Then I find that the electronic PDF document (HOA regulations, no they can’t just look at the two paper copies that we ALREADY HAVE), that I have paid $130 to have posted online, that my realtor has been struggling to get to for a week while it said “payment pending” (yet interestingly was already listed on my credit card statement the day I paid for it), is no longer posted. I am furious that their stupid system is holding up the process and terrified that maybe there was some time limit like 7 days or 3 views or something in which I was supposed to download the stuff and now I will have to pay the $130 again. For a PDF, already on file, THAT COSTS THEM NOTHING.

Also, Kitty has been vomiting about once an hour. All day long. And now it’s every half hour. We have barricaded him downstairs overnight on the wipeable floors because really, there is only so much carpet scrubbing I am willing to do. I will take him to the vet first thing in the morning and I really do feel sorry for the poor little guy, but I groan to imagine how much those xrays and tests will cost. I love my vet but I have been frustrated that lately they have begun to order batteries of tests and shots that sure don’t seem actually necessary and charge twice as much for them as they used to. Example: the first time I brought Kitty in, three years ago, the entire well-check plus shots cost $35. This year it cost $225. That’s kind of a lot, especially for a  cat that mostly pisses me off and destroys my house.

So today had a lot of potential but has thus far failed me. Let’s hope tomorrow – and the possible advent of the blackberry-peach cobbler – is more fun.

At the time I’m writing this, the tops of the tomato jars have in fact sealed. The jars can be held upside down without the bands on and shaken and nary a drop leaks out. Upon googling “canning tomatoes” I see also that that separation is natural and that the tomatoes will reabsorb the liquid as they cool. So here’s hoping that they are fine after all.

One Response to “Wasted day?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    what a day, so sorry you had to go through it.
    how do you find time to can with the Butterbean in tow?
    so sad Kitty is doing poorly–and the vet bills are so exorbitant to just keep him comfortable.
    at least Butterbean can make your day better…

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

:mrgreen: :neutral: :twisted: :shock: :smile: :???: :cool: :evil: :grin: :oops: :razz: :roll: :wink: :cry: :eek: :lol: :mad: :sad: