SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks











{January 2, 2013}   I Can….

Under Pressure

Under Pressure (Photo credit: Sharon Drummond)

Over the past few years, I have worked on becoming more self-sufficient.  It is often cheaper and healthier to do things “the old-fashioned way.”  In my mind’s eye, I am in Grandma Betty’s “fruit room,” grabbing jars of fresh water salmon and homemade applesauce for dinner.  I don’t think I had store-bought jelly till I was in Middle School.  At the time, these were reminders that we didn’t have as much money as the Westscott’s or Hurley’s.  I didn’t appreciate all of the work that went into picking and prepping and canning.  I dreaded the summer days picking green beans and berries.  Now I know that each of those jars was seasoned with love.

I love opening the door to my pantry and seeing all of the jars of sauce and jelly lining the shelves.  Very rarely do I share any of the things I make.  At Christmas this year, I did give away a couple of jars and at New Year’s I opened a jar of Blueberry Blush to share with the girls.  The problem for me was vegetables.  Chili.  Green beans.  Corn.  Potatoes.  My grocery would run great sales, and I couldn’t take advantage.  All of those low-acid foods you cannot can in a water bath canner.

Last Christmas, knowing I was in such a pickle with my canning journey, Dad and Jobeth bought me a pressure canner.  It’s the coolest thing, and I can cook dry beans and make huge batches of foods.

And it sat on top of the freezer for a year.

Because I’ve not been making time to can.

And I don’t know what I’d like to can.

And I know that it is time-consuming.

And I’ve not made the time.  Until today.

New Year’s Eve I made eight quarts of Magical Mystery Beans (and no, I won’t share the complete recipe).  I filled my biggest Pampered Chef pot to the brim.  And since it was a small gathering this year, we had plenty left over. And while I am all about leftovers, Grizzly and the Monkeys burn out really quickly.

“We sure have plenty of beans, Babe,” he tells me yesterday, with a not-so-excited look on his unshaven face as he examined the contents (lack of contents) in the fridge.  I could see his brain rewinding to the last time he made a brisket and nobody showed up.  How many ways can you use leftover brisket?  I came up with about seven before Grizzly started running to Little Caesar’s on his way home in the evenings.

No fear, Big Guy!  I’m getting adventurous and playing with the pressure canner today!

I ran several quart jars through the dishwasher as I read the instruction book for the canner. I filled and cleaned rims and all that jazz till I had 6 jars in the canner.

And we’re down to 19 minutes still on the timer.

"Home Canning Vegetables Out Of The Press...

I’m excited because I love to make chili and some different convenience foods like that and don’t necessarily like freezing everything.  So if this works well, there will be more pressure canning in my future. It’s more time-consuming than I’d like but I think it is worth it in the end to have those jars full of love in my pantry.

~ Katie

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Gail Canty says:

I find pressure canning very rewarding. I love having beef stew, chicken soup, and chili for the ‘I don’t want to cook” days. And then there is green beans, potatoes, corn etc in the spring and summer that need ‘putting by’. You will love this. Just foolw the times perfectly and let it cool down by itself.



This is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!



katiebman says:

Thanks so much! I’ve learned a lot from different sources and put it all together in one place.



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