Thursday, July 24, 2008

my first time (using a pressure canner)

Over the years I’ve done quite a lot of canning. However I never owned anything but a regular water bath canner. Years ago I canned everything in a hot water bath. That included green beans and other things now considered unsafe to process that way.

Later I quit gardening and canning for a number of years because I was busy working and raising a family and food was fairly cheap, not to mention I didn’t question the quality and safety of commercially grown and packaged food back then.

When I returned to gardening and preserving my own food I continued to use my old water bath canner and for safety sake I resorted to freezing beans, beets, and any and all low acid foods. Freezing foods is fine and good if you have dependable power and adequate insurance to cover your loss in the event of a power outage. Here in our area the electric is far more dependable that it used to be, but there are still times when the power goes out. I like the idea of having my preserved goods canned…safe and sealed and being in no harm of losing them over an energy outage. I put a lot of energy and love into growing my own food so I sure don’t want to lose it or have to replace it which, in the truest sense would be impossible to do. So for that reason and safety of course, I had a strong desire for a pressure canner despite my slight fear of them.

Over the 2007 holidays I was thrilled (to the point of tears) when my dear son gifted me with a pressure canner.

I knew when the beets were coming on I would have to get that baby out and examine it and study the booklet. On Monday after pulling the majority of our beets, I followed the directions methodically and carefully and successfully canned them. Yay!

Now when I do the beans I won’t be quite so nervous. : )

9 comments:

  1. I found the link to your blog at Hidden Haven and am so glad I did. Those beets look gorgeous in the jars. I've never done pressure canning either, always water bath but recently found a like new pressure canner at a thrift store. I took it to the local extension office and they calibrated the guage for me. Now I'm anxious to see if my beets will look as pretty as yours do.

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  2. I admit I am terrified of pressure canners but am going to give it a try this year. I like you always hot water bath canned or froze. I need to overcome my fear of pressure canners and your post is going to give me that extra push!

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  3. I used to be terrifed of pressure canning and then someone I worked with made me a great deal on a pressure canner. I'm so glad I made the leap and I bet you are too! The beets are beautiful - oh how I love 'em...

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  4. Jackie - I'm so glad you found your way here! And I KNOW your beets will look as good as mine. : ) Thanks!

    Peggy - I was nervous and shaky, but kept referring to the mfg.'s manual for review and had no problems. You'll do fine. Hey, if I can do it, I have full confidence in anyone else's ability to succeed, lol!

    Kathie - Thanks! Yep, glad I finally made the leap! As with anything, the confidence will increase as I use it. Beets have to be one of my all time favorite vegetables and anyhow, who can resist the color?!

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  5. Oooh ....... that is COOL! I've only even done the water bath, and even with that, I was so nervous that I stuck them all in the fridge anyway, LOL. You may have just made me a little braver - I'll try it if I find a decent price on a pressure canner around. Good lookin' beets!

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  6. city mouse - I thank you and my beets thank you! :) Well now, I'm so glad I posted about this since it seems to have offered a couple of folks a little encouragement. That's a good thing!

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  7. Those beets look yummy! I had beets a couple weeks ago. I have not eaten them in YEARS!! I forgot how much I liked them.

    I am scared of pressure canning too. Not to mention the cost of one. But I do want to give it a try.Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas!?!?!?

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  8. You sound like me years ago.
    When I had a big garden I would can and freeze everything. "Afraid of the pressure cooker" never graduated to one. Children grew up and I stopped putting a lot up.
    Now this grandma has a small garden at her new smaller home and will just put small amounts in the freezer. A friend gave me 5 dozen ears of corn. They are in the freezer. Will make some salsa and just keep it in the frig.
    I am proud of you. Beets look great.

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  9. You've inspired me to pressure can this year. I just got a pressure canner (gift from MIL), and I also invested in a turkey fryer. I have a glass top stove and I've heard it's not save to use the pressure canner on it. I can't find my book (for the stove) so I'm not positive, so to be on the safe side, and to avoid the heat, I'll be canning on my new turkey fryer base outside.

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I sure appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts. I may not always have time to respond or acknowledge them but I do read them all and highly value your presence here.

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