Thursday, September 23, 2010

Muscadines and My Man

Talk about explosive personalities. Not only are my emotions land mines waiting to detonate, it seems that most things I touch are either going to explode or implode. I made such bilious green muscadine jam last year, that I decided to really be careful and create marvelous muscadine jam with this year's crop. Well, life is what happens when we're making other plans.

I had so many muscadines I could barely fit them in my largest pressure cooker. Being an impatient person, I still filled the cooker past the "legal" limit. I was actually pleasantly surprised when the pressure cooker neither exploded nor blew the pressure valve across the kitchen.

After a cool down period, I ground the mess through the food mill and came up with mud-colored mash. I pointed this out to Richard, who allowed as it looked like sick baby's poop. Upon reassuring him that Mamie said it would come out okay in the end, he quipped, "Most poop is better after it comes out of the end." So much for his culinary encouragement.

Because of Deborah's impromptu birthday bash and having to go to Atlanta for the second of Don's Party Into Paradise planning sessions, this was as far as the jam juice got before being refrigerated until a later date. Today was the day for jamming.

After a relatively event-less first batch, I had to remake the second round because I can never do any repetitive task the same way twice. I don't know at this point if it's my ADD or my senility.

Having come to the limit of my ability to concentrate, I decided to freeze the rest of the mash for future jam sessions. The stove was, at this point, beyond recognition from all the burned sugar and dribbled jam. This is where my major missteps came into play.

As is my habit, I labeled a couple of zipper closure bags with contents and date; I then ladled in pre-measured muscadine mash. After zipping, the bags would be ready for the freezer. Except for the little problem with the zipper on the first bag failing, spewing beige blobs all over the counter and stove-top. At least the closure on the second bag held, allowing me to gingerly carry it to the auxiliary freezer with which Richard shares his work-shed.

I so softly placed the bag on top of other frozen foods, being careful to lay it flat for efficient use of storage space. As I turned to close the freezer door and retreat from the shed, the dam (or is it "that damn zipper?")burst, spewing what looked like a mudslide all over me, my clothes and Richard's work-shed. Now, I had debris from two tsunamis to tackle.

I laughingly called Richard to see my latest "Perils of Pauline." Bless his heart, the same man who always told me that he'd call 911 if one of the grandchildren was left in his care and exploded in his or her diaper, calmly began cleaning the similar-looking mess out of his shed while he sent me to the showers to wash myself up. He didn't even laugh at me, just took out the hose and started spraying the
shed floor.

Chivalry comes in almost infinite incarnations.