Monday, September 25, 2017

The Gas Company Shuts Me Down

I had to get my half-bushel of grapes because the farmer told me the rain was making them split.  It was the same day our boiler installation was beginning, but I didn't see a conflict.  I hauled the toddler out to my mom.  I set up the juicer, the canner, and the food mill, and got down into the deep purple morass.

And then my water went to a drip, to nothing.  I went down to the basement, and the guys were apologetic, and yes, my gas was turned off, too.  "But I'm canning!"  I said blankly.  They had forgotten to mention that the gas and water needed to be shut off for the installation.  They bustled around and set up some valves, but still, it was more than 2 hours until I got my utilities back and could resume where I left off.

Thank goodness the terrible purple spill down my creamy-white cabinets happened when I still had water earlier that morning! I mixed up a concoction of 1 cup ammonia, 1 gallon hot water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda (the recipe comes right off the ammonia jug) and was able to get the purple stains off my cabinets and wood floor.  This is a wonderful cleaner for painted walls and woodwork.  Once a year or so, I go around and wash the gray and grimy evidence of kids off the walls as best as I can; it's so much easier and cheaper than repainting, at this stage!

As for the grape canning, I got 8 quarts of thick, rich juice with the leavings going into spiced grape butter; I also made 2 quarts of pie filling for the freezer.  Furthermore, we went out for dinner that night (with coupons!) because my kitchen game had been totally thrown off by the disappearance of gas and water.

The next day, I shared a glass of grape juice with the gas company's supervisor - he was always interested in my kitchen projects and was suitably impressed with my grape juice.  He suggested I make grappa with the skins left from the juice making.  Now our boiler is installed, and the grapes are done.


Becky said...

I went through a very similar situation last July when we got our new stove! I had gone blueberry picking and had every intention of canning them while doing laundry the day before we left for vacation....but then the stove exploded and as it turned out, we had to shut the gas off at the main to install the new one, which meant no hot water. I'd already written off the canning idea, although thankfully, blueberries can go straight into the freezer with zero prep. We may have ended up taking some dirty laundry with us on vacation because I knew there was a washer there.
Glad your grapes are done and the boiler is in.

AmyK said...

Grapes are on my list for this week. I need to plan it out well, however, since getting them involves an hour's drive. My MIL made me some grape pie filling so all I need to do is can grape juice. We used up our last jar the other week, so all my jars are ready and waiting to be refilled.


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