I did can tomato sauce, beans and pickles Saturday using the pressure canner. And then had to redo the tomato sauce yesterday. None of the tomato jars sealed and I lost about a quarter of a pint of volume in the process. I am reading the trouble shooting sections of blogs and my canning books, including the instructions that came with the canner, to figure out what happened. I used the hot water bath canner for the second round and it worked fine. Pressure canning is a new technique for me so it will take a bit to figure things out. The poor garden has been neglected because of the kitchen difficulties so I need to get out there and give it some love. Our gold finches have returned and are enjoying the bounty our sunflowers provide.
John Mauldin presents a guest writer who has an interesting take on globalization. He notes the accelerated pace of globalization from the 1960s on and notes that the process had already been going on for the hundred years or so before that. I would argue that the process began with the Crusades when Europeans, especially in the north and west, rediscovered the joys of sugar, spices, and silks. The drive after that was to cut the Muslim middlemen out of the trade equation by finding ocean trade routes that bypassed them. The discussion of the technological advances that fueled globalization (or at least the form it has taken) and which will likely change the direction of it are interesting. I have often said I am not a great fan of globalization but it isn't globalization as an abstract concept I don't like much. What I don't like are the costs, human and environmental, which I think far outstrip the benefits--especially when the benefits are so disproportionately confined to a narrow segment of the population.
This is a question that has bugged us for the last couple of years: why do we find black spots in potatoes that don't show up before we peel them? Here is an answer. We have just cut off the bad spots and used the rest but it pisses us off that we pay for the damned unusable portion along with the rest. And the problem seems to be increasing over the last couple of years.