No. I don’t have pictures yet. We still don’t have the camera cable. However, I can give an update as this thing is morphing (as things are wont to do around here) into something more than expected.

Bruce has pretty much finished it. The sheetrock can go in now that the wiring is done. I will be able to run the Excalibur out there which will take the heat out of the house. I run it on the deck a lot but that means being around to get it inside if it starts to rain. Now I won’t need to do that. Bruce built a very large hood to cover the fan. It will do double duty as way to let the huge volume of steam generated by canning and boiling sap to escape and also provide a place to hang utensils. I don’t have a ton of space and I’ll need to make every inch count. We are still waiting on the piece for the gas stove. The stainless steel wall is up and the windows are in. Bruce had to build the doors but they’re finished now too.

I plan to offer the space and equipment to folks who may want to try some preservation but don’t want to make a big investment until they see if it works for them. I’ll also be holding some classes and demonstrations there. I’m thinking about some sort of co-op or preservation CSA. This is still in the early thinking stage. I’m not sure how it would work or whether it would produce enough income to make it worth the effort. I have this vision of 4 people doing some marathon sessions, using the propane and gas stoves, the steam juicer and the Squeezo to put up a few hundred jars of applesauce in a weekend. It might be too confusing but I think it’s worth the brain cells to consider.

I had such an interesting and disheartening experience this weekend. I went to Different Drummer, a very high-end kitchen supply store to pick up a birthday gift for my sister. I walked out with a terrible case of the “dissatisfieds”. I wanted new pots and pans and new mixer and new knives and new bakeware. The thing is that I have plenty of stuff now. my kitchen is really well-equipped. My Kitchen-Aid mixer works just fine and , while I could use some cake pans, mine are still fine. Just seeing all of the great alternatives made me want things that I didn’t even know about and certainly can’t afford. A $600.00 comercial Viking Mixer? Really? I don’t even have room for it but that didn’t stop me from craving it and coming home to see my perfectly good mixer as not good enough.

The Dow futures are way up today, based in part on much better than expected Black Friday sales. I can’t help but wonder how much of this stuff was just buying for the sake of it. How much is replacing perfectly good stuff that will now be tossed in a landfill somewhere? How much will be broken and discarded before it sees the new year? How much will have seemed necessary at the time and by January will be just another item on a credit card bill, providing neither pleasure or fulfillment? How often do we seek to fill empty spaces in our spirits and souls by buying?

My daughter, Karen, got a Seventeen Magazine subscription for her birthday from a friend. First of all, the thing was vulgar and I’m not a prude. The sexual content was appalling for magazine aimed at teenage girls. Second, it was primarily a large advertisement, designed to make girls buy things they didn’t know they wanted. Karen has not looked at the magazine even once. She picks it up and puts it directly into the recycle bin. I asked her why and she said that she had seen a copy and thought they should rename it, the How to feel Terrible About Yourself”, magazine and,while she felt bad about the waste, she wasn’t going to torture herself by reading it. She was never going to be that skinny or that pretty or that happy. Karen’s wrong, of course. She’s way prettier than those girls and, in spite of dealing with significant challenges, is a pretty happy kid. I’m so proud of her. I need to follow her example and stay the heck out of kitchen stores.

I know I need to catch up on responding to all of your comments. I read them all and I always plan to get back to them but I do get sidetracked I’m afraid.