Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pressure Canner Love

I don't know what I was so nervous about, working with that pressure canner was pretty easy! I am so glad I got one and I'm already dreaming up other food to pressure can!
My very first pressure canned batch of corn-- 14 pints total.
I love the fact that it holds 10 pints (reg. mouth) at once, so that'll speed things up, but the downside is, it takes a whole 55 minutes to do one batch of corn. Now I understand why my friend's Grandma got so upset when one of her two pressure cookers broke and she immediately sent her husband to the store to buy another one. He ended up going from store to store before finding one and came home about two hours later. It was my very first time helping to can tomatoes and I didn't really understand what all the fuss was about. Having 2 pressure canners going at once would definitely help things go faster, but maybe later. First, I want to be skilled at using this one, then in a year or two, I'll buy a second. Or maybe when I get frustrated at the wait time, I'll send Andrew off to the store to get me another.

In the middle of me working on the corn last night, Andrew called from work and told me he was going to his friend Jim's house after work to pick up some peaches. We had a storm roll through in the late afternoon and Jim's neighbor had peach trees. The wind knocked a lot of peaches to the ground and the neighbor shared them with Jim, not wanting them to go to waste. Well, it was too much for Jim, so he called Andrew wanting to know if we wanted them. Well, sure! I'm not going to turn down free peaches!
We got four bags of peaches, some of them were badly bruised, but most of them were salvageable. Jim's lady hinted at peach butter, so I took all the smushed peaches and made up a batch of peach butter.

I started out with a full pot of peaches, about double the recipe in the Ball Blue Book, and it simmered for the next 5-6 hours before it was thick enough to round up on a spoon. Those peaches were juicy! I spiced it with a teaspoon of cinnamon.

I ended up with 6 pints of peach butter. I'll share them with Jim and his Lady, since he was kind enough to give me the peaches. There are enough good peaches left over to make peach cobbler and to eat out of hand. I had to fend the kids off the peaches so I could make sure I have enough to last a couple of days.

Kind of funny how things work out-- I've been wanting to stop by the farm stand and pick up some peaches, but every time I'm out by the stand, I never have enough money on me (they only take cash), so I don't stop. I've had a real craving for peaches lately, I haven't eaten any this year yet. Then unexpectedly, we get a bunch of free peaches! Nice! I'm going to save some of the pits and plant them, see if I can get any to grow. It'd be nice to have a peach tree to replace the one we have now. The peaches never grow any bigger than a ping-pong ball. Any tips on getting a peach pit to grow? Do I need to let it dry or can I plant it now?


Ron said...

Congrats, Jenny, it all looks great. All sorts of doors open up when you have a pressure canner!

We actually did turkey once when the store had great sales around Thanksgiving. The canned turkey made great sandwiches, and we ate lots of them when we lived in the pole barn the first year we were here.


Karen Mayes said...

I have to try a hand at canning!!!!

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Looks great Jenny! Make your next pressure canner a larger one, you will be able to fit about 18 pints in it with a second rack. Or maybe yours is that big (23 qt)and I can't tell from the picture.

Anyway, congratulations on your canning, there will be no stopping you now :)

Johnna Sutton said...

Great job Lady!

karl said...

two pressure canners isn't enough sometimes, congratulations.

as i understand it peach trees are almost always grafted. sturdy root stock and fruiting top of reliable quality. all macintosh apples came from a single tree. root stock grafted to its branches.

jenny said...

Ron-- thank you!! That's a great idea, canning turkey when there's a good price on them! I'd like to try my hand at canning my stew. I like to make a lot, and it'd be nice to can it instead of freezing it.

Karen-- It's really easy once you get the hang of it. Try regular canning first with jams, pickles and tomatoes, then move onto the bigger world of pressure canning.

Trapper-- Geez! I haven't had the pressure canner one week and I already have larger presser canner envy!! :o) Mine is the 16 qt size, it's what they had available. I guess I'll probably be ordering, online, the larger sized one later. I don't know why I waited so long, it's pretty easy using the pressure canner. I guess those horror stories and seeing the prices on them can be intimidating for me.

Johnna-- Thanks sweets!

Karl-- Thank you. I certainly don't put away as much food as your family does, but someday, I'd like to get to where you are. My tomatoes are starting to come in strong, so I hope to be running both the water canner and the pressure canner and get the job done quicker!

Really about the peach trees?? I'll have to do some research on that then. The kids picked up a bunch of old peach pits from under our tree a couple years ago and sealed it in a jar with some dirt (don't know why) and then one day while cleaning, I noticed green in there. On closer inspection, the pits had sprouted! I assume it was like an aquarium in there. I figured, based on that, I could just grow a tree from the pits. Maybe I'll try anyway, just to see what happens. Fall is around the corner, I might be able to find a good clearance sale on fruit trees around here.