Today it was about as hot and humid as it has been this summer and the rest of the week is supposed to be a dripping treat too. So, that got me to thinking...it must be time to do some canning. One rule of canning is that it must be in the 90's with humidity levels above 80% or don't bother, you won't be able to complain enough about why you have to can in the heat and humidity of the summer :) Oh, and most important, you cannot cheat and do this in an air conditioned home--you've got to sweat it out in an 80 year old home with no air conditioning of any kind. Thank goodness the neighbors have a pool...maybe I can jump in during processing times to cool off.
So tomorrow morning I'm off to the farmer's market to see if I can find about 30 lbs of shelled peas to blanch and freeze. It's always nice to get the kitchen good and steamy before beginning any canning projects. Next I'll can about 10 lbs of pickles and maybe some hot peppers if there's enough available at the market to can.
Nuts you say? Why yes, I am! Nuts for fresh, local and all-year-round, so this time of year I suffer a little in order to enjoy during the lean local months of winter. And I smile every time I open the freezer or go to the pantry in February during a massive snowstorm to fetch some of the great local food I stored during the heat of summer.
Give it a try...pick your favorite thing and even if you just preserve a little for the fall or winter, see how easy it is and how proud you are to be eating local out of your own freezer or pantry. Need tips or advice? There's tons on the web, particularly at University Extension websites. Or, shoot me a comment or e-mail and I'll be happy to give you pointers.
Just don't miss out on all the fun now that it's "hotter than blazes", as my parents say.