Juggling Mason Jars and Hot Flashes

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Real Life A Baby Boomer in Appalachia


My Feet Hurt. It is Canning Seaspn.

Last week is a little foggy. Maybe it’s hot flashes clouding up my bifocals. Maybe it’s the fact that I have made a whirlwind tour to Cincinnati and back followed by a jaunt up to Lexington and back. Maybe I am delusional with a contact buzz from handling Okra Pickles I really can’t be sure.

Fresh Okra at Farmers Market

After two weeks on and off of canning okra, I started getting punchy. The okra was taking over my every waking moment. The cucumbers were turning into blimps. It looked like the tomatoes were ready to come in. Just how many mason jars could I juggle?

Off I went to get Momma up in the big city. Well, okay it used to be farm country….now it’s the burbs I guess. Anyway, I took her away from her “city life” for a week at the barn.

For five days, Mom and I were back and forth from barn to garden pickling and relishing everything that would fit into a mason jar. What was left was summer squash…which got shredded and frozen for zucchini bread. I think we managed about 60 jars, and 22 freezer quarts.

Canning with Mom

Mom chopped and chopped and chopped...maybe she should audition for the show

Mom thinks I fill my jars too full. I think she needs to speed up her garlic peeling. Other than that, we had a good time. And yes, there was bourbon involved….I hope you take the time to try my Bourbon Tomato Jam Recipe.

Bourbon Tomato Jam Recipe Home Canning

When you make pickles 4 days straight, the vinegar fumes start doing funny things to your brain. No really. Mom and I fled the barn one day, leaving a bucket of okra and cucumbers sitting mournfully on the kitchen floor. We shopped. We got a pedicure. We went to the movies, “The Help.”

We canned some more. We readied for my radio appearance on chef Jeremy Ashby’s “Sunny Side Up Lexington” on WLAP. We left the house at 5:30 on Saturday morning…bound for Lexington and beyond.

The radio show went well, and I’ll be talking about that on Wednesday. Mom got home safe to Northern Kentucky. We got home to Henry The Big Gray Cat
and the barn was still standing.

Sunday, we got up and went to the garden. We’ve spent the day canning okra. I’m feeling foggy. Maybe it’s the steam from the canner. Maybe it’s hot flashes. Okra contact buzz???

I have a newspaper article to write, but the okra is calling. Is it hot in here?

So if you wondered how it goes in real life, I just don’t have the time to tell you. The tomatoes are finally coming in.

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About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.