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Cantastic

December 29, 2009

I started canning a couple of years ago, but this was the summer that I bought a giant pressure canner and the canvolution really got started.  (I highly recommend these for any of you canners out there, even for water bath canning the size makes it easy to do a reasonable size batch, and you can expand your repertoire exponentially).

One of the main reasons I like to can is so that I can preserve the food  in season.  Its such a pleasure to have asparagus in November.  Because I’m trying to keep good summer veggies around for the dark days of winter I try not to eat the canned goods during the months of bounty… so, now that winter is here, I have a massive amount of food I need to eat!  I foist some of it off on friends (everyone seems to like the strawbery jam and peaches in brandy so I’m running low on those!).

I signed up to participate in this “can jam” for which the challenge is to can an appointed food of the month from january to december of 2010 — I’ll be sharing the outcome of these monthly experiments with you starting soon.  Meantime,  I need to free up some jars so I can refill them!  Unfortunately my cat doesn’t actually eat sun dried tomatoes, though I think Jiji would like some of the tuna when its ready to consume — anyway, she did seem pretty interested in today’s display!

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Indira Banerjee permalink
    December 30, 2009 10:19 pm

    I am absolutely stricken with awe as I behold this Grand”can”yon. Bravo! Talia you got to “can”tinue this wonder!

    • December 30, 2009 10:32 pm

      future blog post, top 100 punny uses of can: indira will you help me?!

  2. February 19, 2010 6:03 pm

    What a beautiful display! And I love the cat. That last picture is just too perfect.

    • February 19, 2010 6:38 pm

      Thanks Sarah: The cat in the photo was the perfect example of how you just can’t plan everything: first we wanted her out, then we wanted her in but she wouldn’t look the right way, in the end it all worked out!!

  3. February 21, 2010 6:12 am

    Wow, that’s quite the collection – makes me want to can something right this second!

    • February 21, 2010 7:43 pm

      Thanks! Its amazing how easy it is to amass a collection if you just can a little at a time!

  4. February 21, 2010 7:29 am

    I am just mesmerized by the photo with your cat in front of the jars. Brava to you for all that canning. CAN’t wait to see what they all are.

  5. February 21, 2010 12:12 pm

    Wow, I can only aspire to be like you this coming year. I hear I’ll have accesss to the estate’s kitchen garden so perhaps I’ll be able to can some tomatoes, beans and cukes. I’m also interested in wild fruits like amelancer, elderberry and gooseberry. And I hear Michigan has good peaches. You photos make me want to get canning!

    • February 21, 2010 7:44 pm

      Sounds like you will have lots of great fruits and veg to can. The wild fruit sound especially interesting: I don’t even know what amelancer is: so if you do can it, I hope I can read all about it! As for peaches — I did two versions, one in light syrup, the other in brandy: both great!!

  6. February 21, 2010 3:06 pm

    I’m sooooo jealous!!!
    these look absolutely beautiful and yummy!!!

  7. April 14, 2010 5:23 am

    I’m so jealous at your pressure canner. We can’t get those here in Germany, and Amazon.com won’t ship such big things here :-(((. Love the first picture!

    • April 14, 2010 6:56 am

      It would probably be expensive, but you could get one sent to me and I can ship to you and you can pay me back for shipping… if you really want to pressure can it might be worth it?!

      • April 14, 2010 8:18 am

        Thank you sooo much for this offer! I did some more research on pressure canning today (your post inspired me!), and it looks like you can’t use pressure canners on a glass top stove, which is what I have. They seem to not consistently heat to not break the glass, i.e. once the heat gets too high they will shut off for a little while and then heat up again. This is bad for pressure canning safely. Also, those canners might be too heavy for the glass… I’ll do some more research if I REALLY can’t use those. Another problem I see is how I could get the dial gauge checked regularly. I have NO idea at all who in Germany could do that! What brand do you have? I really like the All American 15 1/2 quarts, even though that’s way too expensive for me. So I probably would opt for the Presto 16 quarts. Thanks again for your offer, I might ask you that favor one day ;o).

      • April 14, 2010 9:13 am

        Sounds like its going to be difficult to make it work: I hadn’t really thought about how you would check the gauge but its true you might not be able to do it in Germany. How frustrating.
        Anyway, the offer stands any time if you figure something out.
        I have the Presto 23-Quart – which is HUGE but great!

      • April 14, 2010 10:36 am

        What kind of people check the gauges in the US? Maybe next time you do that, you could ask them what the exact procedure is? If I have some information about the process, I might be able to track down people in Germany who can do that… What is the weight of your Presto canner? It just came to my mind that my family and I will visit the US in the summer of 2011, and if I figure out how to solve all the problems until then (stove top, gauge), I maybe could buy one there and take it back in my luggage which would save me enormous shipping fees! Oh, I’m getting so excited!

      • April 14, 2010 11:00 am

        Oh, I think I found some useful information. Is my assumption correct that with a weighted gauge you don’t need the check-up? There is this Presto pressure regulator which you can replace the dial gauge with. Cool! The shipping weight of the canner is 11 lb, so that definitely should fit into my luggage. Now I just have to solve the stove top problem, but if nothing works, I always can buy a camping burner or something like that.

    • April 14, 2010 11:06 am

      I did a bunch of research before I bought mine though I have forgotten exactly what I read: that sounds right though that you can convert the canner. I know that mine starts knocking and clicking at 15lbs pressure and that it always reaches that pressure no matter how low i have the burner because my stove doesn’t go that low so I seem to be over pressurising everything. At any rate the knocking gives me confidence that the canner is working right and I have only had it a year so I haven’t yet had the gauge checked yet, I think I’ll do it after this season! Maybe you can email the Presto company and ask them to make sure!
      I’m so excited you are going to make this happen!!
      I love being able to can low acid foods. I made tuna last year which is totally delicious! (I’m going to make fresh pasta and tuna soon and will have to post it!)

      • April 14, 2010 12:12 pm

        Is it by any chance possible that you made Eugenia Bone’s canned tuna from “Well Preserved”? THIS recipe is exactly the one that made me start thinking of getting into pressure canning!!!!!

      • April 14, 2010 12:13 pm

        Yes! That is exactly what I made. Isn’t the photo she has in the book so amazing! It was that book, and probably that exact recipe, that made me get the pressure canner myself!!

      • April 14, 2010 12:18 pm

        LOL! That’s too funny! Have to check if you posted about the tuna. Looking forward to reading about it!

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