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Kitchen fatigue

Spice_zing Sep 6, 2012 08:22 AM

I’m in canning madness now and it’s exhausting (yet rewarding!). Although fatigue is expected when canning, here are some things that help. I’m spreading out the work over several hours each day to avoid wearing myself out. It also helps to stay hydrated, take breaks when possible, and wear sneakers for support. (I’m seriously thinking of wearing my hiking boots. LOL.) How do you deal with kitchen fatigue?

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  1. d
    dkenworthy RE: Spice_zing Sep 6, 2012 08:44 AM

    Recruit help! All canning is much more fun with extra hands.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dkenworthy
      sunshine842 RE: dkenworthy Sep 7, 2012 12:54 PM


      30 pounds of tomatoes for salsa was a blast when I could share it with my best friend. I'd have given up if I'd had to do even 15 pounds by myself.

      1. re: dkenworthy
        monavano RE: dkenworthy Sep 7, 2012 01:02 PM

        DH helps me each year when we make tomato sauce. We do ~25 lb. at a time and it really helps to have him do his part.

      2. greygarious RE: Spice_zing Sep 6, 2012 08:45 AM

        Sit when you can - like when prepping your produce and filling the jars. Get cushiony mats from a kitchen or restaurant supply store and put them in front of sink and stove.

        1. Novelli RE: Spice_zing Sep 6, 2012 09:08 AM

          I'm in the same boat as you. Been canning tons for the past month or so, processing 40+ lbs of tomatoes a week. Got 60 quarts so far. I do most of my canning in the late afternoon/evening when I get home from work. I can usually squeeze in 6-7 quarts in a night.

          I just make sure everything is prepped and ready the night before, so when I get home I can get right into it without all the hassle of setting everything up. Jars are washed and sterilized, and completely covered in plastic on the counter. Empty pots are on the stove, ready to be filled with water. Tomatoes have been picked and washed and are ready for the boiling water to skin.

          My kitchen is ultra small so I'm basically spinning in circles, although music does help me move quicker. Take breaks often and stretch out. My back is the first thing that hurts when I'm standing over the sink peeling tomatoes for what seems like an eternity.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Novelli
            SeaSide Tomato RE: Novelli Sep 6, 2012 01:45 PM


            I don't can, but I will one day.

            I do however have a suggestion for your back. Years ago I hurt mine and it helped very much when standing at the sink or counter to spread my feet wide apart--thereby brining my height down and bending less. It may seem awkward at first, but when your back is sore it's a big help.

            Happy canning.


            1. re: SeaSide Tomato
              Novelli RE: SeaSide Tomato Sep 6, 2012 02:10 PM

              I will give it a try and see if that helps! Thanks!
              I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm in flip flops the entire time either. LOL

              1. re: Novelli
                monavano RE: Novelli Sep 7, 2012 12:49 PM

                If your sink has cabinets below, open up a cabinet and place one foot in. Alternate. This will relieve pressure on your back.

                1. re: monavano
                  cayjohan RE: monavano Sep 7, 2012 01:13 PM

                  This works incredibly well. (37 years and counting of back pain after a severe injury.) What I've found that works even better is using the rolling step stool that I keep in the kitchen - like this one: http://www.stepstooluniverse.com/Roll... Having the many positioning options (two levels, moves with an easy kick) it gives me during a long prep process helps so much in avoiding pain and spasms. It's really become one of my essential kitchen tools.

              2. re: SeaSide Tomato
                monavano RE: SeaSide Tomato Sep 7, 2012 12:52 PM

                Great suggestion. If possible, lean your elbows on the edge of the sink or counter once in a while.

              3. re: Novelli
                DuchessNukem RE: Novelli Sep 7, 2012 01:03 PM

                An old-but-useful suggestion for back pain during long standing: elevate feet alternately. Can be as simple as opening the undersink cabinet and putting one foot onto the cabinet base, and alternate. I use this folding stepstool, it's light and easy to kick side to side:


                These ideas aren't helpful for when you're flitting around though lol!

              4. Ruthie789 RE: Spice_zing Sep 6, 2012 12:49 PM

                LOL on the hiking boots. I have to can in small batches. I can be overzealous and that's where the trouble and fatigue come in. I also have an organized kitchen but very small kitchen which helps with the stress... I try to do goods that I like, that make me happy, keeping the objective as incentive.

                1. d
                  darrentran87 RE: Spice_zing Sep 6, 2012 01:33 PM

                  I second the cusioned mats. They work so well. Great for the back as well. I bought some at costco last year for $20 each... best purchase ever.

                  1. s
                    Spice_zing RE: Spice_zing Sep 7, 2012 12:32 PM

                    Appreciate the helpful replies. I already have one of those mats but didn't think to use it in kitchen. Now I will. Great idea.

                    1. shanagain RE: Spice_zing Sep 7, 2012 01:55 PM

                      In addition to the excellent advice above, I've found that keeping my Kindle on the counter (in a ziploc depending on what I'm cooking) helps pass the time when I'm in the middle of repetitive kitchen tasks.

                      A glass of wine or bottle of beer never hurt, either. YMMV ;)

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