I’m back! Sorry for the absence. I spent the last week out at the 4-H County Fair and the weekend and yesterday just trying to get caught up after the fair. Fair is fun, but getting back into a routine is better.
Canning season is in full swing here at Momma T’s house. We’re putting up everything we can get our hands on, corn, green beans and blackberries. OH the blackberries! Fortunately those are coming to an end, but tomatoes are picking up so I’ll be busy for the foreseeable future.
“But Momma T,” you say, “you can all the time! Where’s the “try it” in this Tuesday post?”
Well, I’m glad you asked! you see, this post is something of a two-fer as I’ve tried two somethings this week in the world of canning. Firstly, we all tried this delicious Chipotle BBQ Sauce. OH. MY. STARS. Is this stuff good! I only put up Fourteen 1/2-pints and I don’t think it will make it through the grilling season!
This may very well be the best use of my blackberries…well maybe second best. I found the recipe on Pinterest. The only change I made was to use half the amount of Chipotles in Adobo sauce and I opened up the Chipotle peppers and rinsed out the seeds. There’s a bit of heat at the end, but nothing major. As The Girl put it, “So many layers of flavors!” It’s good and interesting. So, there’s the first Try It.
The second Try it is a biggie…at least for me. Guys, today, TODAY I used the pressure canner all by myself! Stop laughing! This is a big deal. These things scare the poop out of me and typically I won’t use it unless The Hubs is there to help (read, keep a watchful eye on things while I hide under the table in the next room).
When I was a wee girl, I remember my mom canning in her pressure canner, the weights rattling and clanging on the top of the pop…steam whooshing out. I remember her warning me to stay away because the top could blow! BLOW people! Whoosh KABOOM! OK, maybe that’s a little intense, but back then, there was no safety valve, really and you had to judge the pressure by how fast and steady the weights were rattling so it was possible to blow your pressure cooker and news of that possibility is all little Momma T needed for her imagination to scar her for life!
Today we have pressure canners with dials so we can SEE what the pressure is and there is a safety fuse that will help relieve pressure if it becomes too high, but still these buggers make me nervous, but I had a bushel of green beans to be put up and I HAD to work on it today or be up all night. So, I got up this morning, put on my big girl panties…and went on a walk with The Boy and The Oldest. OK, so I procrastinated, but I caught a Jiggly Puff!
Back at the house I finally set to putting my beans in the hot jars, 20 pints…for starters. and I loaded them into my canner, which remarkably fits 20 pints, double stacked.
I loaded it up, locked the lid in place and said a little prayer before turning on the heat. I waited for steam to come out the small valve, placed the counter weight on it and prayed again. The thingy up front popped up and the pressure began to rise! Eeek!
Did I mention that I had a friend drop by for tea right about this point? Well, yeah, I did. I continued to run into the kitchen and check the pressure while making small talk, and a lot of apologies to my guest. As I approached 7 or 8 lbs of pressure I turned down the temp as it continued to climb to 11 lbs of pressure. So far so good.
I started the timer and went back to check on it a few minutes later to find that it had climbed a couple of lbs higher! It’s going to blow I thought! Of course it wasn’t going to blow, not even close, but old habits die hard. I adjusted the heat and went back to my guest. Not long after, the timer went off. Whew! No green beans on my ceiling, no shards of glass, no KABOOM! I’d done it!
The heat went off and I waited for the little “thingy” up front to go down, carefully opened the lid and removed the jars of beans. No broken jars, no mishaps. Well, except this one.
I’m not sure what caused that mark, I’ve never seen anything like it before. The Hubs thinks it might have rubbed up against another lid, but no other lids came out this way. Was it from the pressure getting too high? Is this just one more thing I’m overthinking?
Whatever it was, it was not an exploding pot and I was able to process NINE more pints of beans after that! That’s right 29 pints. Well, I did 20 of them anyway. I packed the last nine, set up the canner and put the beans inside, locked the lid, and turned on the heat. Then I called The Hubs and let HIM watch it.
Those things still scare the poop out of me…