Country life, canning, preserving, reality, homesteading, dogs, NYS, DIY, farming, veggies,
20190908 00106c 3-1/2 minutes: Homesteading ! A much longer piece cut into 8: #3.

The following morning it was pouring with rain, so unloading the car was delayed again. I spent the time rounding up jars and washing them. This sounds easy but with three different categories of jars: bail and screw tops, wide and regular mouth, and pint and quart, all mixed up together in the boxes and dirty from having been in the “barn”, it took a while to get them sorted into their groups, and cleaned, and then to find appropriate lids for each type.

Then it was the turn of the big pots and pans. My kitchen wasn’t set up for major preserving sessions. The big pots didn’t fit in the sink, so washing them was an interesting exercise. The stove top was also beginning to fall to bits. My landlord said he’d come and see it and probably get me a new stove. He agreed that the stove wasn’t made for big pans and told me that his wife used the individual low outdoor grills for them, and suggested maybe I should do the same.

Having bought two grills the previous year, and having acquired several old propane tanks through Freecycle, everything was all set to do just that. A safe place was needed for the grills and then the tanks had to be filled with gas. The donor had told me that three of them were no longer legal, but that they could probably be exchanged for new ones. Now it was time to find out if the exchange story held water, and where to buy propane.

Having had a fire while living upstate, making me a card-carrying scaredy-cat as far as propane was concerned, it was important for me to make sure there wasn’t anything flammable near the grills or tanks. That meant needing a surface devoid of weeds, grass and leaves. Several options were considered for ground surfaces – small rocks, gravel, flag stones, a nice deck?! – just plain earth would be a lot cheaper. So I cleared an 8’ x 8’ area, devised a table and chair for the cutting and chopping, and set up the grills. The empty propane tanks fitted nicely into their space and all was ready for them to be filled or exchanged.

The exchange place and the fill place for propane are not the same. The good news was that when one exchanges tanks, even the old illegal ones, the new ones they give you are full, and as cheap as just filling them. So my old illegal ones saved me a bundle – new empty tanks cost a fortune. With everything assembled and in place, we just needed the rain to stop for work to begin. But what happens to an earthen floor that has no roof, when it rains? It turns into old fashioned MUD!