Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Still alive, and kicking......

Well, the canning went pretty well.... no explosion.  When you have a potential bomb on your stove, it can scare the bejeebees out of you.  Anyway, it did me.  

But, I followed the directions, reading them around 20 times.  Had everything lined up and ready to go.  Could've used more green beans, but all in all, I'm happy with this 1st experience.

The instructions said to pick and can withing a few hours.  It took me 2 days to get enough for these 2 jars. Still, I decided to get this over and done with, with just these beans.  This way I figured I'd only ruin 2 jars on my maiden voyage, instead of ruining a whole canner full.    

I got the beans cut, packed, added the boiling water, released the air bubbles and got the tops on.  Next, put the 2 lonely jars in the canner with 2-3 inches of water.  Clamped the lid on and was meticulous about giving each screw lock the same amount of turns.  Brought the heat up and let the steam escape for 7 minutes.  Since I'm at 6700-6800' I used the weighted gauge and added 10 minutes to canning time.  

Now, here it got a little complicated.  Directions said to put the weight on and get the weight to jiggle 1-4 times a minute.  I kept lowering the heat as that weight jiggled constantly and seemed to want to shoot from the canner.   Finally, when the heat was turned to low, it came to a relatively close approximation of 1-4 times a minute.  By that time I'm sure they were already cooked and ready to come out.  

Still, I waited the correct time.  Then, turned the heat off and waited until the pressure gauge was at zero.  Took off the weight and it sounded like a fuse was set off.  Nah, just more steam.  Made sure to unlock the lid and open the top away from me.  By this time, I was feeling a little cocky.  I'd survived, the kitchen survived, Steve and Ziva had survived.

Took the jars out to cool on a towel.  I was very surprised at how they looked.  They had white scum all over them.  Still not sure if it was all that time in the canner (probably too much), minerals in the water, the 1st voyage of the canner.  Not too long after they started to cool I heard the sounds of the lids setting.

After wiping them off in the morning they seem just like they should seem.  I guess I did it correctly and now I'm just sitting here waiting for the tomatoes to ripen so the spaghetti sauce can progress.

The water-bath method of canning may be easier and less trouble, but I'm a master of my pressure canning fears, now.

Until I'm not!

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