Thursday, November 29, 2012

Those Green Bean Times

I cringed when I looked at the date of my last post.  Sept. 24th!  Oh, my goodness!

September seems soooo long ago.  I remember vaguely that time as one of making a grand attempt at getting a lot of canning done.  Oh, and I had started an online canning course, which I have also, like blogging, let totally fall by the wayside.

The canning did not go well.  I blame it on my stove--my stupid, modern stove with the smooth ceramic top, which absolutely refuses to respond in a timely manner to my instructions.  This obstinance caused wild pressure swings in the canner, which in turn caused the dreaded "siphoning", a process by which some of the contents of the jars is sucked out into the canner.  I persisted anyway and canned a quantity of chili and green beans.  By some miracle, most of them sealed despite the siphoning problem.    The ones that didn't I just refrigerated.

I have an especially fond memory of getting the green beans ready to process.  I had about 15 pounds to snap.  Emma and I divided them up into our 13-quart stainless steel bowls.  It was a gorgeous fall day--cool and crisp.  We threw the windows and doors open, and as we sat on the couch with our green bean bounty, we chatted and snapped and listened to the chimes and the gentle burbling of chickens at work near the back door.  The breeze washed over us like baptismal water, renewing us.  It was an extremely satisfying interlude, one of those rare instances where you feel like everything is rightly ordered, almost like a prayer.

I wonder about those green bean times and how you go about getting more of them and less of the pressure canner ones?  How do you live your life as a prayer?  And is it possible *for me* while being a "friend" on Facebook?  Or using an iPhone?  I've been thinking a lot about that lately.  While I have been away from my cozy little blog living room, I have been camped out alongside the rushing torrent that is Facebook Falls, watching the good, the true, and the beautiful wash by, along with some raw sewage.  Blogging is certainly not ideal, but for now, I am going to spend a lot less time on Facebook and more time here.  Especially with Advent beginning in just a few days, my soul yearns for more quiet: less "likes" and more one-on-one, heart-to-heart communication.  Real friendship in Christ.  I am not expecting that I will get that by blogging, but writing here is a more contemplative activity than posting on Facebook.  I think I may grow to be a better friend here.


Fotofule said...

Siphoning. Yes, I've experienced that on almost every batch of canning I've done. I think my seal(s) were in poor repair and I didn't realize it until one failed completely and I replaced them all. Maintaining that constant pressure is for me the hardest part of canning. The monitoring for 90 minutes (of chili and meatloaf anyway).

Here's to less FB time and more feeding the spirit!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Nice beans, and good to hear from you again! I've been wondering how everything is going. Facebook is good and bad so just remove the "bad" from your feeds and keep the good. I've seen a lot of comforting and loads of prayers shared there when they were needed most. I view it like cable/satellite tv: all of the signals are aimed at you, you just choose which ones to block so they don't enter your door.

Glad to see you back!

Wendy Haught said...

Seals? Bev, are you not using the regular canning jar lids?
Yes, more feeding the spirit!

Wendy Haught said...

Hi Kathy!

I've thought of you often and missed our comment conversation. Thank you. It's good to be back.

Oh, yes, there is lots of good on Facebook. Far more good than bad in my experience.

Hope you are having a blessed Advent!