Keeping your Canner(s) at the Ready!

09 Aug

Each day I am harvesting a large colander full of beans (green & wax together), at least 2-3 squash, and a few tomatoes.  I prefer to keep my canning equipment handy (jars, lids, bands, pots, pressure canner, other canning tools).  This allows me to collect my produce and process it rather quickly in smaller batches so I don’t feel so overwhelmed.  I tend to do this is the morning right now because I am up before the kids and am busy with kitchen duties anyway and it takes about an 1 – 1 1/2 hrs of my time (to cut up the goods, get jars, fill them, process)

I am liking my new pressure canner.  The beans I’ve collected since Sunday night (and today is Tuesday)  have made 5-6 pint jars with plenty left over to eat “fresh”.  I did a combination of cutting them up into more bite size pieces and some trimming the tops so the entire bean fits into the jar – looks prettier that way.  I fill the jar within 1/4 ” from the top with water – I don’t add anything else.  Then I process in the pressure canner at 11lbs for 20 minutes.  These must be processed in a pressure canner only as they are a low acid food.  I also made a freeze ahead green bean casserole to take up to the cabin or have at a moment’s notice. I don’t have the crispy onions, but you use those to top off anyway; so I don’t need them now.  Might make more of these casseroles while the beans are coming.  Again, doing it this way makes it less overwhelming.  If you dill these then you can use a water bath canner because it will be highly acidic with the vinegar.

I also canned a couple of jars of chopped tomatoes.  I blanched them in boiling water to peel the skin off, chopped them up and put into jars.  I didn’t need to top off with water because of their own juice within 1/4 ” of top of jar.  You can process with water bath OR pressure can.  There is enough acid in the tomatoes to do either way.  Pressure canning is 20 minutes at 11lbs. And water bath is about 60-80 minutes depending on quarts or pints.

I keep the jars and pots stashed in a somewhat inconspicuous place in the kitchen to encourage me to preserve my home grown food to last throughout the entire year.

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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in 2011 Vegetable Garden


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