Tonight, we had spaghetti with sauce I canned last summer. The sauce has been sitting in my pantry since July, daring me to open it. Whatcha so afraid of, it's been whispering when I walk past. Think I've got botulism spores in here? Yes, I tell it. That's exactly what I think.
Well, it takes botulism symptoms eleven to twenty-four hours to manifest. I'll be waiting for my eyelids to droop and the sides of my face to feel tight. Oh, and to drop on the floor dead. That, too. If you never hear from me again, you know what happened.
The good news is the jar was tightly sealed--I had to use a butter knife to pry the lid off--and the sauce wasn't at all discolored or weird. To be on the safe side, I boiled it for ten minutes (reducing it quite a bit in the process), just to kill any bad stuff that might be in it. Then I tasted it and waited to see if I felt funny. And sure enough, my eyes started twitching and I could feel my muscles go slack and simultaneously get rigid. Have I ever mentioned I'm very suggestible? If you tell me the flu is going around, I immediately feel like I've got the flu. If you mention you've been down with Hepatitus A, my liver starts to hurt. It's just how I am.
So far, so good. And speaking of good, the sauce was mighty tasty! I want to grow twice as many tomatoes next summer, and make twice as much sauce. I've still got a lot of frozen tomatoes in my freezer, and some frozen sauce, but I've only got one jar left. If I survive tonight, who knows? Maybe we'll open it tomorrow. Live dangerously, I always say.
(ETA: For a fun post on food memories, go check out what Tracy recalls from her Australian girlhood on Beyond My Picket Fence.)