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Aaaah fall

Fall by Sherlock77 via Flickr

I’m finally emerging from the coccoon that was woven by a new job. You know how the first few weeks at work kind of make your brain hurt, even though you’re not doing anything fundamentally different from your last job? That’s been me. Learning new software, adjusting to new names and faces takes mental juice, and for the last few weeks I’ve been coming home substantially more tired than I normally get at work. At least the weather’s been keeping true to course with cloudy rainy days suitable for all work and no play. I’d have been justifiably ticked if it was sunny and gorgeous while I was too wiped out to enjoy what could  have been our one week of summer. Did you know we’re expecting snow on Thursday, by the way? Just wanted to throw that out there.

So I took it easy on myself – I often came home and had a nap before rising to exercise, dinner and chores. I didn’t plan anything more strenuous than meeting frriends for supper or a beer at the pub, and in general practiced the principle of conservation of energy. On weekends I puttered around the house, and got around to harvesting all my tomatoes which are now ripening slowly on my counter. So far I can confidently say that Sungold tomatoes are tiny globes of pure sweet sunshine, and both Black Prince and Carbon are totally worth growing. Everything else is up in the air for now, and for Christmas I want a greenhouse.

I also tried my hand at canning – my first foray into this venture, and of course I started with pickles that I adore with a loving love. I made a reasonable sized batch of baby dills using two methods – one modern, with proper heat canning, and one old school. The results were telling and phenomenally different. The heat canned pickles tasted totally flat and boring. They could have used triple the seasonings and will need to be amended with further vinegar, salt and garlic. The old style pickles – made by simply pouring hot brine over the washed cukes, and sealed without further processing were amazing. Effervescent with slight fermentation they shined with tang of garlic and dill and smoked with the heat of horseradish. My family, no slouch when it comes to pickes, promptly declared them the best homemade pickles ever. I’m already taking orders for next year, except for the fact that I eyeballed the recipe and it may be hard to duplicate.   😀

Other than that, the one shining accomplishment of the week involves calling an appliance repair man to fix our limping dishwasher. For months now (don’t laugh, we know we’re lazy and complacent), our dishwasher has been doing a very intermittent job washing cups. For some reason it would leave tiny specks of debris in some to many of our cups in the top rack that if heated dry, would be glued to the cups with a strength that would put gorilla glue to shame. Some days it would leave most cups clean, other days most would be unusable. Of course our appliance manual was worse than useless, leading us down a lovely diagnostics chart that failed to mention such an occurence at all, and full of useful advice to unplug the dishwasher if going in there with a screwdriver, something I was not about to do. Since James hasn’t had a full weekend off since about June, he was adamantly not spending his precious free time taking apart an appliance that was bound to turn into a painful chore. So we seethed at the dishwasher and contemplated buying a new one. But in a fortuitous coincidence I came across an ad on our company intranet advertising an appliance repair company, which I called so fast the phone was smoking. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner, see lazy and complacent, above, but seeing that ad triggered an immediate action response and within seconds I had an appointment.

Within two days my dishwasher was as good as new, at the price of a tenth of a new one. Apparently it was the common issue of a clogged trap, clogged with miscellaneous crap consisting mostly of labels that peeled off the cans that made their way in there. According to the appliance guy dishwashers are equipped with a tiny garburator, but it’s so weak that paper gums it right up. Very common problem, he said. Of course there is no accessing that trap without taking apart half the dishwasher, but hey. At least now a major irritant is gone from my life. For anyone in the Calgary area, I can now highly recomment Gavin at GWCM Service Inc. (403) 828-4926.

4 comments to Aaaah fall

  • I admire you for trying your hand at canning; it’s definitely something I’d like to attempt at some point. Eventually. Last year, my neighbour gave us a jar of homemade strawberry jam and it was the most amazingly delicious thing I’d ever eaten. At the time, I swore up and down that I’d make some of my own this year when strawberry season kicked in. Well, the season came and went and nada. Maybe next year? Or so I say…

    Did it snow there? I couldn’t believe it when I read on this post that you were expecting some snow. Already! I shudder at the very thought.

  • admin

    Hi, my name is Tatiana, and I live in the pits of hell. 🙂 Yes, it’s already snowed a bit this morning. Just a sprinkle on roofs and cars, but enough to bring on wailing across town. I procrastinated on canning for a long time too, I’ve been meaning to start for years. Sadly this year we did not have a strawberry season, due to the stupid weather, so jams were out. But I did start on pickles that I adore, and had huge success. Apparently the trick is to ignore every safety rule in the book… Ahem.

  • Wow! Congrats on canning pickles! Is there a bottle heading my way?

  • admin

    @Teena – I’d love to send you a jar next year! This year was very limited production – our cold summer got only a few pickles in the farmers markets, and since it was my first time I made a very limited production run. But now that I have an idea of what’s going on, I’d be more than happy to churn out a huge batch next year and spread the pickle love!

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