Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pressure canner adventures

Yay!  I tried the pressure canner for the first time, and it worked!

Blowing off steam

Watching the gauge
I know from trying to teach math that the unknown is scary -- the first time trying anything is the hardest.  So I've been waiting for (= dreading?) an excuse to get out the pressure canner I got from a woman at our church.  Thanksgiving gave me the excuse I've been looking for: I made a huge pot of stock from the turkey carcass.  And since the freezer is getting full (no more room at the inn for turkey stuff), I screwed up my courage, checked the internet a few last times, and got things boiling.

Heat up the stock; boil some water; sterilize the jars.  Pour the hot stock into the hot jars, screw on the lids, (screw up my courage once again), put the jars in the canner.  Per instructions, I let the steam bleed out 10 minutes, closed the valve, then monitored the gauge to keep the dial on the whole contraption at 11 for 25 minutes.  Done!

Taking stock, so to speak.
When the pot cooled down enough to open it again, I pulled out the hot jars and set them aside to cool.  The stock inside the jars bubbled and boiled for another two hours.  So cool!!!  It was a joy to watch.  Man, I can't wait to do this again!  I just needed more jars; I'd run low on pint jars, and I'm completely out of quart jars.  But I still had a lot of broth.

I got so happy with this that my husband and I drove out to a store (!) and bought another dozen canning jars.  Soup was next.  The boys go through that like no tomorrow -- it makes a great after-school snack for them. 

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