Thursday, August 12, 2010
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should
See that jar?
Full of blood, that's what.
Well, figuratively speaking, of course. It may or may not also contain some sweat or tears. (Have you ever noticed that if you combine sweat and tears, you get swears? A coincidence? I think not.)
I believe I may have spoken before on this site of my and my husband's very diverse work styles (here and here to be specific), and how said diversities affect our marriage. Well, we canned some tomato sauce recently, and it amplified those differences.
I had already canned some things in the past few weeks, and perhaps I was a bit canned out. He was eager to use all the tomatoes he'd grown, but perhaps not so eager to actually embark on chopping, measuring, cooking, and processing after an already long day. Perhaps he gets tired of taking orders, and perhaps, just perhaps, I'm not too good at taking them either. (I've been told that I'm not a good support player. I can't deny it. But I'm not to blame: you see, I'm no good at switching roles. If I must manage some places, I end up trying to manage in all places. If I see inefficiency and incorrectness, I must speak. So call me a manager. I've been called far worse.)
Anyway, we plowed through a huge vat of tomatoes. I stayed away for awhile, having been ordered from the kitchen at one point early in the procedure, but then I got sucked back in like a Ball canning lid, and ended up cleaning most of the mess (which usually happens, and might just be the reason I try to stay out of these events).
All I know is that a big bunch of tomatoes were reduced to a much smaller pile of guts and seeds, and an unimpressive amount of canned sauce...and that I have ever-growing respect for the true pioneers who had to do this sort of work along with a slew of other, tougher assignments just to garner enough food and fuel to survive a winter. All that so they could work their hind ends off again come spring, likely while caring for and/or expecting children. They were a hardier strain of beings, I think; one old diary my father has tells of some frontier gal who "was delivered of a son in the morning and then prepared dinner later that day." Can you imagine? I guess all the weaklings died in childbirth; based on my labor experience, that would likely have been my lot—Todd would've been out shopping for someone younger and healthier within a season or two, because he'd have needed a crew of workers.
But I digress. I'm done canning for awhile. I'll eat the veggies fresh, fried, grilled, boiled, sautéed, whatever, but I'm not dragging that mammoth pot out again until at least September. I hope all the work will be worth it when we break this stuff out in winter. If nothing else, it was a good reminder for my poor, naive husband, who clings to a confused belief that he and I can somehow work together on projects from home. As a team. Us. Hmmmmmm.