27 October, 2009

botulism is for pussies

speaking of canning - i have never done it before last week. i have been a virtuous blushing canning virgin. worse, i have not even harboured shameful fantasies involving canning. canning, to me, was what the other girls did. you know the girls i'm talking about, don't you?

so when it came time to do something with the insane amount of plum butter that i produced (from less than a third of our frozen plum arsenal) i took the easy way out and froze some in handy screw-type plastic containers. but there was more...lots more...what to do? 

being in the top 1 percentile of the population, intellectually speaking (shut UP, you), i was able to take 2 (plum butter) and 2 (empty jars) and, following some quick calculations on the back of an engineering magazine, come up with 4 (canning).

oh holy internet, fount of all knowledge, how doth one can jam? i have a big pot, some water, some jars and some jams. surely that ought to be enough?

according to the wisdom of the internet (and those folks who like to make north americans panic about improbable food safety issues while scarfing lean cuisine microwaveable meals made entirely of plastic), the way of our grandmothers, was The Way Of Certain Death Through Botulism.

fuck. apparently bacteria, yeasts and other food borne pathogens have been evolving and now scoff at a jar boiled in water. sterilisation, these days, requires high tech machinery and ridiculous things like thermometers and catheters and nuclear fission. 

fuck that, quoth i. my grandmothers have fed multitudes who took the botulism-infested jams and ATE THEM WITH PLEASURE. my mother has routinely sent me home with small jars of "ginger scented botulism" or "e-coli surprise" and i LOVED it on my toast. so there. what's worked for countless generations will work for us. and if there's a slight greenish layer, we'll scrape it bravely off and eat it just the same.

you've heard me ranting about the north american obsession with expiry dates, on the midnight of which, yoghurt explodes with acinetobacter baumannii and bread turns to pure strychnine. let me add this to the list of funny paranoias. 

btw, feel free to laugh as i lie in intensive care, sad victim of clostridium botulinum and pride, but i WILL NOT buy myself a canner.

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