Canning jars used to seal with a clear, ringing, PING! It was almost bell-like, and loud. I could hear it throughout the entire house. I'd take a load of jars out of the canner, and could count them off as each sealed, no matter what room I was in.
I still use the narrow-mouth, two-part lids-with-a sealing ring I always have, the same jars, the same headspace. But now, whether due to probably a cost-cutting change to the metal or the shape of the sealing "dimple", there is no more "ping". Jars now seal with an almost inaudible "tap" or small "thunk" sound. I sometimes miss it even when I'm right there in the kitchen. I'll look over at the jars, and the dimple is pulled down, but I never even heard half of them. I miss that PING! It was one of my favorite sounds.
I canned a last batch of tomato sauce today. I harvested all my green tomatoes last month, just before a killing freeze, and laid them out on a table across the guest room bed to ripen. Usually, my final tomato canning is done by mid-October. But this year, the last harvest was quite late, with our mellow autumn, and the house is much cooler this time of year. Thus, the last canner load now, in late November. I'm just glad to get anything at all, with as poor a gardening year as the past one was.
With company arriving later this week, it was time to get that room switched over to guest room status. I held out a couple of nice, big red tomatoes for fresh eating this week. Those still green or orange I loaded onto a tray to put down in the cellar. Those I'll bring up, a couple at a time, to ripen in the warmer kitchen throughout the winter. The taste certainly can't compare to vine-ripened summer tomatoes, but is better than the ones I refuse to buy in the grocery store. The rest of the tomatoes warmed up the house as they cooked down into sauce today - nine pints in the canner, plus two more in the freezer.