Saturday, October 10, 2009


It's Saturday!  I forgot to blog about my Friday Fieldtrip!  Except that the fieldtrip wasn't on Friday.  I went on a little fieldtrip on Monday (before the week got completely out of control).

I had signed up a few weeks ago to go to the church's cannery for some humanatarian canning.  They were canning tomato soup for a charitable organization - I don't know which one.  It might have been for Catholic Charities or for Food Bank of the Rockies.  I don't know.

All I know is that it was tomato soup and it wasn't for me.  Which is good because I HATE tomato soup.

So chalk up an extra service point for going to the cannery to can something barfy!  Oops, minus the point for bragging about it.

So, when you go to the cannery, you definitely don't want to wear anything cute.  And you should probably wait until AFTER to shower!  The first thing you do when you get there is put on aprons, gloves and way cute hairnets.  Everyone looks so awesome.  A hairnet is a real equalizer.
Chalk up a service point for decutifying for the day and not caring!

I always go with such a happy, sharing, generous feeling in my heart. I'm so full of love with for the other strangers that are also helping in the cannery.
Oooo chalk up another point!

Then we get our assignments.
I got a cool assignment.
I got to hold a gun/squirter thing attached to a long hose that runs into a huge cat.
You squeexe the trigger and squirt tomato soup into the cans on a moving conveyor.

It only takes you about 1,000 cans to figure out the right amount of pressure to apply to the trigger.  And by then, you are down to the end of the vat and the air bubbles cause the whole srpray hose to act unpredictably
Meanwhile you squirted the entire conveyor with hot molten tomato soup.
Luckily, you have back up.  There is a "partner" standing next to you and he fills the cans that you underfilled or fills the empty cans that got by you while you were spazzing out.

When I was the lead filler person, My partner was BUSY!
When I was the back up person, it was pretty boring........not boring enough to leave my station and go to the bathroom, but boring enough to look up and see other people standing around chatting or pretending to be busy. Darn!  Minus a point for judging my neighbor and being a hater.

Chalk up a point for saying "Oh it's okay!  Don't worry about it!" when the hose bucked and my partner accidentally gave me a tomato soup acid peel.

I think I should get a point because if you don't especially like tomato soup, standing between 4 swirling vats of it and pouring it into cans is an extra sacrifice.  But then, maybe I should minus a point because I just said it was a sacrifice.

Anyway, we went through TWO pallets of #10 cans of tomato paste.  We made 19 vats of tomato soup.  I can't tell you how many cans of soup we made.

We squirted tomato soup into cans, on the conveyor, on our shoes and all over the floor for four hours!
My favorite part is when we finish and it's time to clean up.

Some people figure - we're done and they strip off their garb and make excuses for how busy they are and leave. Dang it, I just lost every service point I ever earned with my whining!

Luckily, the other half of us aren't even remotely busy and we can use high pressure hoses to squirt everything down with 200 degree water.  Combined with my tomato soup acid peel, I now get a warm facial in a sauna!

By the time I leave, I am exhausted.  I must be a total wimp.  I don't know how Lucy and Ethel or Laverne and Shirley ever worked in a factory.  I could never do it.  For a half a shift, it's really fun, but so tiring.


Shirley said...

How fun! I loved working at our cannery, but they closed it down several years ago. I remember one horrible project of canning tomatoes. I was lucky and got the two easy jobs - first sorting the tomatoes and throwing out bad ones - and then putting the labels on the cans. I'm the only one who came home clean. Everyone else was a hot sticky mess. said...

I always love going to the cannery, your post reminds me that I need to get out there and put some service in!

Melissa said...

Wow. I've only ever done dry pack. Now I'm glad for that fact.

valerie said...

Ooh I haven't been to the cannery in years. With fun like yours, maybe I should go back. But then if I was using the point system like you I'd be in the minus millions because I would be working my mouth about the people who leave conviently after they are done too. HATE that!!!

Raven said...

Good for you! It sounds like it would be exhausting!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

This is SO wrong and you might throw me off commenting on your blog but my fisrt thought when I read 'humanitarian canning'?

Human canning.

I can't help it, it's where my mind goes...