Canning Commentary: Cost per Unit

I spent a lot of years apologizing for being a Home Ec. teacher. I was really prissy about it. I somehow had the misguided mind set that the food prep and clothing construction was just, oh so, plebian. Now, not so much. I am a maniac about canning, of all things. I have some degree of local (very local) fame with canned beets. Pam’s Mom, Martha, made the very best and I am pleased to have that recipe.IMG_3286.JPG

So, now to the commentary: I pay Max to help me plant and harvest. Actually, he does all the work. I like to do the harvesting if I can beat him to it. I am compelled to can as much as I possible. This year I have ‘put up’ pickled beets and onions, salsa, and most recently mustang grape jelly! Just waiting for those dang figs to ripen for fig jam.

Yesterday afternoon, I came home from Mah Jongg to pick the grapes. Greedy birds have been having a feast. There were darned few grapes and none in clusters so it was onesies and twosies. An hour later, in 100 F heat, I had just 4 ½ cups of grapes. I pressed on because I am a maniac about finishing things even if it gets sloppy. I discovered that grape jelly is really easy to make compared to the beets and the salsa….still and all, 4 hours later I had 7 pints of jelly. Mom will like it. Here is the point. If I factor in the cost of the jars, lids, labor (Max and me), seed, fertilizer, tractor costs, propane, and hello, the electricity—then each jar is verrrrrrrrrrrry expensive. Very.

I could fly to San Miguel and get cheaper salsa! Oh well, this keeps me off the streets and even better news
is that I am no longer making chutney. It was really expensive and not popular.
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