Personal

Canning

I hope that title has you a little intrigued!

I’m talking about preserving food, in this case, tomatoes, for use in the fall and winter. We picked up a lug box of canning tomatoes at a roadside fruit stand. The tomatoes on display were $1.99 a pound and they were beautifully perfect! However, I was looking for the not-so-perfect fruit. A few bumps, bruises and splits don’t matter when you are peeling and chopping them anyway. I got a lug box (about 25 lbs.) for $5.00.

tomatoes

I began learning about canning fruits from my grandmother. She died before the first personal computer was invented, so I KNOW she didn’t use our modern technologies to preserve foods. Instead she relied on the knowledge passed down from her mother and grandmother, friends and other relatives and books like the Ball Blue Book.

ball_blue_book

The book in the photo is my trusty copy of the Ball Blue Book. It is over 30 years old and I use it each time I can something. However, it is not always easily available. It tends to get lost in my cookbook bookcase.

That is just what happened on Friday. I needed the recipe and information on canning tomatoes.

canning_tomatoes

When I could not find the book, it was time to use a little technology! My iPad can often be found on my island or kitchen counter, so my first thought was the Apple App Store. I typed in “canning” and this is what appeared:

canning_apps


Right there was a free app, How to Can. Since playing on my iPad wasn’t getting those beautiful tomatoes into jars, I “bought" it.

The app contains good basic information about the canning process and is full of good advice from a well-respected information source. The app has a link to how to subscribe to Mother Earth News on each screen. This app is also an advertisement, so the free price is justifiable for lots of good information.

basics


It is easy to visually find your way to the information you are looking for using the illustrated index on the left side:

general_tomato

Most important, it has the information on how long to process (boil) the canned tomatoes:

tomato_timing

In a few short hours, I had 19 pints of diced tomatoes cooling on my counter, ready to be labeled and stored for use this fall in chili, soups and stews. They look so beautiful!

canned_tomatoes

--Pat

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Back

I gave up on blogging last fall. It wasn’t a conscious decision--it just happened.

Ron and I headed to Boston and New England last fall to attend the
Catholic New Media Conference. From there we went exploring. Although both Ron and I had been to conferences in Boston, we had done little exploring. Neither of us had ever spent much time in that area. It was a wonderful trip that ended abruptly. Ron had been having lots of headaches that were attributed to a series of sinus infections. However, when the infection was under control, the headaches continued. We stopped to see a doctor in Newport RI. He gave Ron yet another round of antibiotics and cautioned us that if he was not better in three days, we should head home immediately Three days later we arrived in Bath ME. Ron awoke in the middle of the night with another pounding headache, so we got in the car at 3:00 a.m. and headed home.

When we arrived Ron went to the emergency room. A CAT scan revealed a subdural hematoma, Ron was admitted to the hospital. Later in the week they operated to relieve the pressure. He (we) was very fortunate. The blood was above the dura. There was no brain damage. As soon as the operation was complete, Ron quickly regained his mobility, his neurological symptoms disappeared in just a few days and the headaches were gone.

However, the holiday were upon us. Our daughter and granddaughter who had been living with us while our son-in-law was in Iraq bought a new home. We helped with the move and helped them get settled.

When things finally settled down, my writing routine had been destroyed. I was (and am) disenchanted with my web page development software. I have been exploring the options that are available to me, but moving to a different platform means weeks of work as I transition years of blogging to something new.

I can’t wait any longer, so I will continue using RapidWeaver for the present time. It’s time to get back to blogging. I’ve begun to miss it. Thanks for coming back!

-- Pat
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So long, Steve Jobs

I’ve been sitting in front of my MacBook Pro all morning. To my right is my iPad and to the left, my iPhone. I’ve worked with a client, read some emails and done a little surfing.

I am struck by how many people have been profoundly affected by the death of Steve Jobs. While I expected a reaction among my Mac friends and colleagues, I am awed by reaction of others. So many feel his loss. So many have expressed their sorrow.

I never really met Steve Jobs, though I saw him at about a dozen Macworld Expo keynotes. I shook his hand briefly in the Apple booth once, but that is the only physical contact I ever had with him. However, he has had a major effect in my life.

As my youngest children were beginning school, I started helping in the computer lab at their school. As my knowledge increased, I became known as a teacher and troubleshooter, and perhaps as a bit of an evangelist.

I was fed by Apple magazines and books and eventually, by my many trips to Macworld Expos. I loved the keynotes and I would stand in line for hours to attend them. I would always watch product announcements and WWDC keynotes too.

Steve Jobs was a wonderful, dynamic speaker. He always made me want (need?) the next new Apple product.

I have missed Steve at the last few Macworld Expos. Now, he’s truly gone. I (we) will miss him. As someone said on Facebook last night…

iSad

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