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Saturday, May 22, 2010

My First Time Canning and Pressure Cooker Experience:

 I think that I want a red and black kitchen.

Yesterday, I said to myself I said, "Okay, Kathy Matthews, today is the day ... you are going to learn to use your pressure cooker and get this canning project underway!"  And I did.  And 6 out of 7 jars turned out fine.  Yay for me!

Last year, I had bought the pressure cooker.  I have been gathering books on canning (my Kari girl gave me one for Christmas too), canning tools and canning jars.  I decided to can some stew that I had in the freezer as my test run.  I needed the freezer space, and figured that if some jars didn't seal right then we could just eat the stew.  The adventure begins:

#1 - I opened the box, took everything out and read the booklet.  Since it was my first time, I washed the pot with hot soapy water, and washed the rubber ring.  I looked through the little steam vent hole to make sure it wasn't blocked.  I was really careful, because this pressure cooker cost around $100.00 and I intend to use it for years to come.

#2 - I washed my jars, rings and lids in the dishwasher and hit the sanitize button, just to be sure.  I found this cool website on canning and cooking for your family and read up on my subject manner:  Foodie With Family

I also like this website, Canning, and the comments on their Facebook page:!/group.php?gid=2261906796&ref=ts

I heated up my stew in the big crockpot until it was really hot, and then put it into the jars. 

#3 - Here they are, nestled in and ready to go!  I put the liner on the bottom of the pan, and then the wire basket, and then the jars of stew.  I put in 3 quarts of water (using an empty canning jar seem to make the most sense on that one) and a little bit of white vinegar into the water.

#4 - Following the instructions, I canned!

#5 - Here they are, all done.  They were boiling for a longtime inside the jars, after I took them out of the pressure cooker.  When they were mostly cooled off, I checked the lids by taking the rings off and seeing if they were on tight.  One was not, so I put it in the fridge.

Now my mind is racing with the things that I can do next.  I am so excited about this, and though it took me awhile to get around to it, I know I will keep going and learning and having fun.  Plus, I'll be stocking up on our food supply, which is never a bad idea.


1 comment:

carly said...

The reason to stock up your food supply is because you live in the outer limits!!! A very good idea, in case a rogue snow storm hits in June. It could;)
Well, maybe I'll learn to can, too. I love growing tomatoes. And use a LOT of them in cooking. Plus love growing zuichini, although canning them seems sort of blech! But, yesterday had to freeze my Mulligan stew and also some Mama Carly's Spaghetti. Canned would be interesting and leave more room in the freezer. Will have to watch more of your canning adventures to gain courage for this...

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