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Something's Fishy around here!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ever since I got married in 1974, I've been interested in doing things the old-fashioned way. I like the idea (if not all the work) of growing one's own food and living without dependence upon the grocery store or the power company. Over the years, we've raised beef, pigs, goats, sheep and rabbits for meat, chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese for meat and eggs, grown our own organic gardens, smoked, canned and dehydrated our home-produced food, and played with alternative energy sources. Some of these projects were very enjoyable and others not so much. While we like the idea of doing things ourselves, the motivation isn't there to put in all that work anymore.

A few years ago, we moved to an area near the north coast of California where many of our neighbors introduced us to home-canned fish--albacore, in particular. We learned that one can purchase fresh-caught tuna right off the fishing boats and have it cleaned for a reasonable fee. (Reasonable to ME because I don't have to clean it!) This is the best-tasting tuna we've eaten and none of my kids will eat store-bought any more. We always watch for the signs in town advertising a fresh catch when our supply of canned tuna gets low. This week, we scored!

The whole family and a couple of neighbors went together to buy tuna and yesterday was canning day at my house. Here are a few pictures of the process. Mind you, we aren't looking our best because we are dressed in old clothes that can be tossed afterwards. The smell doesn't always come out of the clothes~

This is a photo of the last of three ice chests full of bags of fish. The next one is a sinkful of fillets waiting to be washed and cut up.

I cut up the fish and granddaughter, Katherin, stuffed the jars while daughter, Jenny (the only one with clean hands) put the lids on and loaded the pressure canners. Jenny also had the honor of answering the phone and scratching our noses!

Once we had all the jars filled, we took a break while the canners did their thing.

Here we are about halfway done. There are about this many jars cooking and this many cooling, with more waiting to go into the canners~

The last cooks standing! Jenny has gone home and Katherin is on her way. We still have a few dozen jars cooling, but these are done and ready to store! Whew!

We will be enjoying this for quite a while and while the tuna is delightful, the best part of the whole experience is sharing it with the kids and passing it on to the next generation.

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