Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cookin' in the Kitchen

Canning on the kitchen stove

Our scale

The end product

"Now I'll get to see if the kitchen works for canning."

So said Nancy as she began a long day of canning sour cherries and pickled zucchini. With our garden starting to produce, the annual canning and preserving ritual begins. This work is highly reliant on the stove and the kitchen work space. We managed in the yurt for years with a tiny little gas stove and a 3 1/2' wide counter, so clearly our new kitchen would be adequate, but would it all feel like it works well?

I'm glad to say after a few hours of sterilizing, boiling, warming and more boiling the verdict was yes, it works well. Our stove is obviously a good bit larger then our old one and the front-right burner is specifically a large-ring high-BTU unit intended for powerful output. When we are canning we are continually replenishing and reheating the large canning pot with water and it takes a lot of umph from the stove to keep it at a boil. Often in the past we'd be waiting some portion of the time just for the canning pot to get up to a boil again.


A collection of spurdles and rye

We have a small collection of spurdles that are now hanging in our kitchen. Some of the rye that we planted in the yard has formed its tassels and I was inspired to put them together.

What's a spurdle you ask? Why its a Scottish stirring stick of course! I believe they are typically used for porridge, but we use them for lots of things. Nancy got a bit of a spurdle collecting bug and now we've received a few different ones. The one second from the left was hand turned by our neighbor John Riley.