Sunday, September 7, 2008

Recent Musings

I've had a few random thought-strings that I thought I'd share.

First off, I've continued to ride my bike to work on occasion and I can't believe how awful exhaust fumes are. I often come to a stop too close to the vehicle ahead of me, and I don't notice at first, but after a few breaths I realize I haven't gotten any oxygen. I don't think automobile exhaust disgusts people nearly as much as it would if it were black instead of colorless. When I'm driving my car, or when you pass other cars on the highway, it's as if there's no toxic fumes at all because there's no visible sign of it. I thought about suggesting a color additive but I guess indifference is better than black soot everywhere.

I'm in the market for a waterbath canner - so if you've got one that your willing to sell, let me know. My first experiment, on borrowed equipment, was making pickles. It was fun, but I over cooked them. They came out the consistency of baby food. A wise grandmother of a friend overheard my plight and suggested relish. I think it might turn out more like a pickle paste, but it's all going to the same place. I might have a good invention on my hands! Jared's Perfect Pickle Paste - great on hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches and more! My next canning project is going to be blackberry jam. I was out picking some blackberries tonight. Blackberry picking is not a good activity for arachnophobes. Spiders everywhere.

I got a new book today - Hit the Ground Crawling from It's a book by dads for dads-to-be. Michelle and I got this packet with all kinds of baby information, mostly in pastel pinks and blues, but one handout caught my eye - it was black with this smiling, dirty baby holding a wrench on the cover. I read it, front to back, within a day or so, and it was one of the first things to really connect with me about this whole fatherhood thing. (I'm fairly certain that I've told everyone that Michelle and I are expecting, so this shouldn't be too shocking). Anyway, I've got that to dig in to.

That's probably enough random rambling for one day.


Emily said...

Hey Jared... just so you know (and I just recently learned this), jam does not actually need to be canned, contrary to modern bacteriophobic beliefs. You can just make the cooked jam recipe, fill the jar, wipe the top with a damp cloth. Then, slap on the flat lid (that has been warmed in some water on the stove), screw on the lid very very tightly, and flip the jar on its head. After about 30 minutes, you can flip them back upright again and leave them for 24 hours. Check to make sure the lids have properly sealed (they shouldn't make a little popping sound), and you're good to go!

Jared said...

Hey Emily,

I read somewhere online that the no-canner method wasn't as safe - but if you say it's fine, I'll take your word for it. I've been itching to pick a peck of blackberries and make homemade jam. It seems pretty straightforward - anything you've learned that I should know?