So today’s adventure is in pressure canning! I’m a little nervous, I’ve been doing the water bath canning for years. Lots of salsa, jam and other high acid things that are just fine for some easy water bath canning. But this year we really wanted to be able to can the bounty from our CSA including veggies. So here I am sitting in my incredibly hot kitchen hoping I don’t screw up to badly! I’ve read everything I can get my hands on, the bible of canning (the Ball Blue Book of Preserving) as well as a few others that I loved (this one, great for preppers, really enjoy this one) and gleaned a pretty good understanding of what’s supposed to happen. I’ve had my eye on this pressure canner for a while, but can’t justify spending the money until I really feel comfortable with this whole thing.
I am incredibly lucky though that my grandparents live in the area and are expert level canners! Seriously when SHTF they will be set! This year they decided to scale back because they have SO much in their pantry (How cool is that?!) and so they are taking it easy on the garden and the canning this year and I have been the incredibly lucky recipient of much of their excess cans, gardening equipment, and knowledge. I am the only one of the grandkids who cans and gardens so they love sharing that information with me. Might I recommend that you all learn everything you can from this generation of canners! They won’t be around forever (sadly) and all that knowledge would be lost. If you’re grandparents aren’t near, able, or willing (doubt it) to share their knowledge check with people at church, the local senior center, or neighbors to see if they know anyone. You will never get the same information from the web or a book that you can get from standing with someone who is canning. Anyways, off my soap box!
So today I stopped by, got their pressure canner (sweet baby from the 1970’s with the original instruction book they still use)
As I’m sitting here writing this I have 8 pint jars in the canner and I am waiting for the control to jiggle. It’s incredibly nerve wrecking. I will cry if I screw this up, seriously that’s a lot of beans!
And I hate failing. So please keep your fingers crossed for me. My biggest fear is overcooking the beans. I don’t want 8 pints of mush, so I am waiting to see how this batch goes before I do anything with the rest of the beans.
To prepare the beans I did the raw packing method and added salt, pepper, and onion powder before putting the boiling water in with the beans.
I’m also going to do a few with more seasoning just to mix things up with the other pints. I have a couple of seasoning mixes that I think Dustin would really enjoy with his beans and some fresh garlic I might mince and throw in with a few pints! How do you like to season your canned veggies? Or do you wait til you’re going to cook them?
If this works I’ll be so happy stocking up my pantry, if it fails I’ll be back to the books to really really study up, and probably be on the phone with my grandparents to figure out where I went wrong!
What do you can? This year I will be doing beans, peas, salsa, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, corn, and maybe tomatoes. It’s a learning year and I am looking forward to having a pantry as beautifully stocked as my grandparents!