Thursday, September 29, 2005

Everything Takes Longer the First Time

I should tattoo this on my forehead and the backs of both my hands as a reminder. I did can applesauce for the first time yesterday and it did go well. However, I started peeling apples at 10:00am and didn't finish peeling or get them on the stove until 12:30. I misjudged how long it would take to soften the apples, blend them and bring them back to a boil.

In between canning activities (there's a lot of down time in canning where you need to be nearby but aren't really doing anything) I made a huge pot (16 quarts) of split pea soup. That used 1/2 of a drawerful of carrots and both heads of celery, freeing up some much needed fridge space. I just left that simmering on a back burner. I also made an apple crisp (although I didn't peel the apples for it.)

I finally took the jars out of the canner at 3:00pm. I was cranky, tired and a little frazzled because last night was the first night of an 8 week nutrition course that I'm teaching for our local adult ed program. I had figured that I would be done canning by 1:00pm at the latest.

Jim got home at 5:00 and he helped roll out some defrosted pizza dough. I whirled the leftover soups from the last two days in the blender and called it sauce (since both had tomatoes it was rather sauce like.) My sons spread the sauce around. I made a nutritional yeast "cheese" to top the pizza and drizzled it over the top. We popped them in the oven and I even got to eat two slices before running out the door.

So what's the lesson? When I think back to my first attempts at this lifestyle, I suspect my reaction was; never again followed quickly by; let's get takeout! But really the lesson is, everything takes longer the first time so plan accordingly. Have someone there as an extra set of hands. Its helpful both mentally and physically. Don't start an unfamiliar or really ambitious project with a deadline hanging over your head like I did. Recognize that you will get quicker at tasks the more times you do them. Finally, some tasks are done best apart from the work week. This wasn't an option for me this week as we're going away for the weekend.

When I teach YogaBall, I tell my students that yoga is a practice and there is something to be learned each and every time we practice, both from our successes and from the things we would have liked to do better. This is very true in the kitchen as well.

Having learned my lesson, I will be canning today but Jim gave me a head start last night. While I was out teaching my nutrition class, he cut and peeled 8 quarts of apples.

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