A glutton [for punishment]

I’m in the midst of a massive canning/bottling/brewing operation.  Last night it was another ketchup, this time a charred pepper ketchup, and marinara sauce.  the sauce was simple, I think too simple, and didn’t reduce/thicken as much as I’d like.  It was basically tomatoes, onions and garlic.  But I did get to use my food mill finally.

Breaking in the new food mill. Thank you President's Choice.

I figure that the resulting eight quarts of sauce are just a base for future pasta sauces.  We’ll see.  It did seem, at the time, a lot of work for a  basic sauce, but the point of all of this, for me, is to have staples that I’ve made and canned to replace what I’d normally buy during the winter.  And, to be honest, in moments of [lack of] inspiration, I have bought pasta sauce in jars.

Now, every evening when I’m finished a long, and what is always longer than expected, canning day, I vow never to do that again.  I vow to take some days off, or to make my days putting stuff in glass shorter and easier.

This morning, however, even with last night’s vow still echoing in my ears, I was canning by 9:30 am.

This is the game plan: finish the BBQ sauce I’m making by noon (it all depends on how quickly it will reduce), while that’s cooking, bottle my raspberry porter.  This afternoon, tackle the somewhat complex pumpkin porter.  while that is brewing, “rack” the IPA into a secondary fermenter, and add hops for dry hopping.

While that all may sound complicated to you, the brewing and racking is ludicrously easy compared to the business of canning.  I guess maybe it’s because I’ve brewed longer than I’ve canned.  It could also be that brewing is two main steps: the brew day, and the bottling day.  (There can be other steps if  they are required, like racking to a secondary fermenter, but that takes very little effort, really–if you have extra fermenters).

So brewing takes time, but it does allow for plenty of time to sit around and wait for the next step (or as godfather of home brewing, Charlie Papazian says, “relax, don’t worry and have a home brew”).

I’m looking forward to the end of today, when “ll be able to sample the not yet carbonated brews I’m working with today, find some place to put all the jars of stuff I’m canning, and relax, stop worrying and have (another) home brew.


About danmalleck

Medical historian and jack-of-all-trades curmudgeon. I tend to ramble about politics, social incivility, and our self-centred culture more interested in buying the next cool ringtone or LED TV than actively engaging in the sorts of discussions and issues that matter. The more opportunity we have to buy more stuff, the less concern there is, it seems, in politics, social justice and let's face it, basic human decency, unless those things actually can save us money or get us more things to show how awesome we are through displaying our material wealth. And I like to brew beer, make cheese, and put food in jars.
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