Okay, maybe not some days. Take yesterday for instance. A friend gifted me with 25 pounds of wonderful sweet black cherries. As sweet cherries are not hardy here, we can’t grow them, so this was extra appreciated. As they were close to going bad, I set up to can them right away. After all, it was 8 AM and it was already 85 degrees in the shade — they wouldn’t hold long. I found my super handy cherry pitter and got my jars and lids ready. (If you have never used a cherry pitter, let me say right now it’s one of my all-time favorite homestead kitchen tools. This little device clamps to your counter. You put several washed cherries in the little hopper and with the flat of your hand, you strike the plunger a smart smack. It neatly pokes the pit right out, into a waiting bin, below. Then the cherry (usually) pops down the chute, into your waiting bowl. Sure, once in awhile, it misses a pit, if you don’t smack the plunger sharply enough. But for an appliance that costs less than $20, it’s way better than pitting cherries by hand! I’ve even used it for our bush cherries, which are smaller. Boy, does it save you hours of time. I do flip one cherry at a time into the pitting spot so two don’t get jammed up in there, possibly causing a pit to be retained.
Okay, so I pitted and canned up the first batch (nine pints). Then hell rained down on us. Will came in saying our neighbor’s cows were in with some of ours in the horse pasture. Oh crap! (It was already 95° F in the shade!) I went down with him to try and separate our cows from the neighbor’s, which didn’t go so well. We did get a few through the gate. Then Will got a round bale of hay and lured the “good” cows out into the pasture from the winter corral where they were lying in the shade by the water tanks. They went out pretty well, then I led Ladyhawk, our mare, and the mule out of the winter corral too.
By then, David, who had been shopping in town, and the neighbor showed up with two fellows and a stock trailer. We finally got the cows sorted and his cows in the training ring where they could be driven through the chute, into the trailer. After the first load, I had to head for the house. The heat had gotten me pretty bad, along with all the running around. Who needs a gym, huh? Anyway, the cows finally all went to the neighbor’s new, rented pasture, several miles away. Whew!
By now it was 104 degrees in the sun, so I sure wasn’t doing any more canning for a while. We do not have air-conditioning! So, Will went to mulching and watering while I worked in the house, waiting for cooler temperatures. It didn’t start cooling until 10 PM and I still had a lot of cherries to can up. It was still pretty hot, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so I went ahead and canned up the rest of the cherries. Some of the lids I was using were the new Snapdragon reusable lids a friend in Colorado has been developing for several years. He does the developing and some testing then sends the lids to me to do further testing. These lids are made of stainless steel with separate seals which can be reused indefinitely. The big difference is the vent button on the top of the lid which sucks down as the vacuum creates the seal as the jars cool. Like the Kerr and Ball lids, you can feel the firm indentation after the seals are complete. I really think he’s on to something here. I’ll keep you posted!