And the winner is…

Beth and the Devil’s Crock-Pot!

My favorite recent DIY memory is from the day I purchased a pressure canner. I invited my mom and my best friend over for what was going to be an epic tomato sauce (some meat, some veg, hence the need for pressure over water bath) canning session.

I always underestimate the time and effort that goes into this stuff.

Eight hours and a few bottles of wine later, our shirts were ruined with tomato splatters and bandages had been liberally distributed due to lack of knife skills (the wine had nothing to do with it, I swear). We were huddled outside my kitchen door debating whether or not the noises coming from this pressure canner meant the end was nigh (I think I referred to the canner as the devil’s crock-pot at one point).

Despite our tiredness and fussing, we all walked away with a bounty of delicious tomato sauce. Seven months later I am still grateful that I can crack open a jar of rich, meaty sauce on those nights when I’m too beat to put effort into cooking. I get it simmering, crack an egg into it to poach, and pour it all over some polenta. Divine and completely worth the blood, sweat, and tears.

Beth earned 36% of the votes, but it was a tight race all along. Thanks to all the commenters for a wonderful collection of DIY stories and thanks to everyone who voted.

Congratulations, Beth. Please send your mailing address to me at localkitchen AT yahoo DOT com so I can send your copy of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking! For those who didn’t win, check out the giveaways going on now at Autumn Makes and Does and Small Measure.


  1. Note to self: Close the poll to voting BEFORE you announce the winner.

    Hi all- If you look at the “finalists” post, you’ll notice the poll says that Bethany won, with 36% of the votes, instead of Beth. Rest assured, when I checked the results at 12:00pm today, the winner was Beth, with 36% (I told you it was a tight race all along). I wrote the winner post before closing the poll; in the ensuing half-hour or so, Bethany must have picked up a few more votes, which unfortunately, I can’t count.

    Live & learn: next time I will close the poll promptly! I love all of the commenters’ answers, so I wish I had dozens of books to give away. But: there can be only one! Congratulations again, Beth. Bethany – you have the glory of an awesomely-well-received Tomato Canning Haiku. 🙂

    • this was such a great idea kaela. i am only sorry that i somehow missed the fun of voting. just getting here now. but i love that you did this. and it was wonderful to read all of the entries!

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