Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pressure Canning-got a shiny new kitchen toy!

I've been looking for a new hobby for a while now, you know, something that would really hold my interest and that I'd enjoy doing. Finally it dawned on me, I like to eat:@) I do have a tendency to get carried away with new things, but will work to keep my canning aspirations in check (after all, I do live alone, and am not too concerned about stocking up for a possible zombie apocalypse). My goal is to can food for two reasons: 1. to preserve items I won't be able to use up in a week and would rather not freeze, and 2. for quick meals. It will be much easier to open a jar of soup for lunch than to try to thaw a brick of soup I forgot to take out of the freezer...
 The first thing I pressure canned, six pints of Bean Soup from The Iowa Housewife, which is a very helpful blog! 
My beans split but I'm guessing that's from the quick soak method? Any tips?
Found a few boxes of ~old~ lids (no idea how old) and decided to use one to see if they'd seal...
Five jars came out of the canner boiling-that one wasn't, five jars sealed-that one didn't.
That jar of soup was eaten (pretty good by the way) and the lids were tossed.
#Canning Tip-I'm going to use a Sharpie and write the date I buy everything on the box going forward.

As with most things, information on the internet about canning can be overwhelming. Personally, this is what I have chosen as my beginning guidelines from a couple weeks of  reading about the subject:
  • The Food Police... There are only two Food Police (i.e. government approved) sources for acceptable canning recipes and practices, The Ball Blue Book and the National Center for Home Food Preservation. And I mean they don't want you to deviate by one ingredient. Having said that, we all know that Great Aunt Gertie canned her super secret blue ribbon recipe for decades, so... 
  • I plan to use common sense in canning. I'll only can items that have proven to be safe (no flour, pasta or dairy) and will always process for the longest time of any one ingredient. For example: green beans take 20 minutes but if they are mixed with ham and potatoes a pint gets processed for 75 minutes.
  • I did begrudgingly give in and accept that "they" say it's not safe to pressure can in an 8 quart pressure cooker. So I did buy a 16 quart Presto pressure canner at Walmart and hope that, with the exception of occasionally replacing the seal, this is a once in a lifetime purchase.
  • If canning smaller jars, process half pints for the same amount of time as pints. 
I'll share my new adventures, whether they turn out good or bad, I've never been shy about posting bloggy bloopers:@) I'm very interested in this topic and welcome all advice. I would also love to know about any canning blogs you follow. I've read what the authorities have to say, now I'd like to hear about what real folks have been canning!

 Thanks and have a happy day:@)

12 comments:

  1. happy new obsession! the bean soup looks GREAT, i might add. :)

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  2. Oh, nothing better than a new toy! Bean soup looks delicious. I've only canned pickles and it was so many years ago, but was fun and work!

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  3. Your new obsession is a nice one! You've inspired me to go look for my canner. Have a great week.

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  4. Please don't blow up the kitchen. Earl, take cover little dude!

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  5. I look forward to hearing more about your new hobby. The bean soup looks so tasty, and I sure wouldn't mind if a few of the beans split. Your co workers are going to be envious when you being your homemade canned soup.
    Have fun with your new toy!
    p.s. I like the idea of labeling your lids as to when you bought them.

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  6. sounds good to me! i only water bath at the minute as i am saving up for a pressure canner so i'm super jealous.I can't wait to see what you make :) New follow from The Undomestic Diva

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  7. I can't wait to see what you can over the years to come! Your soup looks delish!!!

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  8. What a fun new hobby Lynn! I'll look forward to your posts and canning adventures.The food police make canning seems so intimidating like they do everything else. I remember all the years growing up when we took a covered dish to church to enjoy for a picnic lunch hours later, including deviled eggs. These days the food police would confiscate your eggs and potato salad at the door and have you arrested :)

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  9. I will be of no help at all except to encourage your efforts and will enjoy reading about them...I am so terrified of canning and preserving, and am afraid I would have no patience for the rules and would probably poison my family....as for the zombie apocalypse, who wants to be around for that anyway! Good luck, your soup sounds yummy!
    Jenna

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  10. I applaud the pressure canner but I think I'd be too afraid to try it! I just barely learned how to do regular canning :) No help here!

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  11. Good luck, Lynn! I've always been afraid of pressure cookers. Not logical, I know...I do enjoy home canned soup canned by someone else, though.

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  12. Awesome! We can also and I love to see what other people are canning...and their recipes!

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