I said Can it already!!

Carrots that is šŸ™‚
  
Finally the day has come to use “Bes” She was ready to Rock and Roll this morning when I came in with carrots from the garden. A friend of my husbands also gave us baby carrots, so mixed all together I had about 5lbs. Canning time!
Preparing your kitchen, remember canning is like an assembly line! Get your kitchen in order, I covered my counters with towels as hot jars can’t touch cold surfaces. My tools are ready, which consist of – jars are being heated, lids are as well. I have a jar lifted, plastic spatula for getting air bubbles out as well as tongs to pick up the hot lids. You can pick out a canning tool kits as well, that have everything in there you need, here’s a good one
Back to Basics 5-Piece Home Canning Kit

This is from the Ball Complete Book of Home preserving

1.Preparation: Wash Carrots and drain. peel and wash again. Leave baby carrots whole. Slice or dice larger carrots.

2.Since I’m using Hot-pack, the directions are- In stainless steel saucepan, combine carrots with boiling water to cover. Bring to boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to boil over gently for 5 minutes, until tender crisp. Drain reserving cooking liquid for packing. (Raw packing is just tightly packing carrots in the hot jars and filling with boiling water)

3.Tightly pack carrots into hot jars within a generous 1inch (2.5cm) of top of jar. Add salt if using, ( 1/2 tsp per pint, or 1tsp per quart) Ladle boiling water or cooking liquid into jar covering vegetables, leaving again 1inch head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space if necessary by adding more hot liquid. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.

4. Place jars in canner, Adjust water level (use your pressure canners instructional booklet, it’s different for all sizes of canners as well as the pints/quarts yours using, you do NOT fill the pressure canner up with water as you do a water bath one.) Mine was 1 1/2 quarts of water.

5. This is where using the Directions in the Ball Book don’t help me one bit. My Pressure canner is over 20 years old, it’s a weighted gauge one, not a dial. The directions say to Vent steam for ten minutes and then close vent. “Bes” her owner graciously emailed me (4 times) to answer questions. She said all she’s ever done was put the jars in the canner, close her up, start the heat and put the weight on top. There was no “vent steam” So she sees no point in that. Since “Bes” as been a true and loyal canner, I went with her instructions, put the weighted gauge on and listened for the pressure to build.

    Boy did it build. You ever here a tea kettle start hissing? This is nothing compared to a tea kettle my friends. I moved everyone out of the kitchen, we sat on the living room floor listening, waiting patiently while this big thing, started to make noises. I was to wait till it “jiggled” That’s the steam coming out of the top and moving the weight. Until then, you just hear hissing, and your on edge wondering if it’s about to pop. I’m not lying, I blocked my entire kitchen off so the kids couldn’t go and see what the noise was, it was an unmistakable noise before something goes KABOOM!

   Nothing did though, I continued to heat until the weight “jiggled” which meant the pressure canner achieved 10lbs of pressure. Now you start timing, for carrots in pints sized jars it was 25 minutes of hearing jiggling about 2-3 times per minute. At first when I turned it down, it stopped jiggling, I had to turn it up again and wait for the jiggling to start again. You must avoid see sawing the heat, you  can cause unnecessary liquid losses from the jars. Start timing only when you’ve reached the correct pressure. I don’t have a dial gauge, but for those you need to be watching it. Yet another reason I selected my weighted gauge, I have 4 kids, I cannot stand there staring (plus I you won’t catch me standing in front of those things anyways!)
    After the time is finished turn off the heat and walk away. Again I don’t know what using a dial gauge pressure canner is like, but it reads wait until the pressure lock releases and wait another few minutes before opening. My canner was still letting out steam for a couple hours.Just ended up walking away and didn’t open it till after the kids went to bed. I wanted to make sure that wouldn’t blow up scolding hot steam or water at me. Cause guess who came with a record? “Bes” blew up in her Grandfathers face when he wasn’t thinking, he opened the canner too soon and got burned by steam. So, read your instructions for your canner over and over, make notes on your recipe if you have too. If all else fails, walk away from it after it’s moved off the heat and leave it be. It will cool down on its own. NEVER force it to cool down, that’s another major no-no!
 When you open the pressure canner, jars will still be hot, use your jar lifter. Set them on towels and don’t touch them for 24hrs. This is the sealing processing, you will hear popping noises as the jars cool. After 24hrs, check and inspect the jars for leaks. Unscrew the bands to check the lid, it should look concave, test it by pressing it. If it pops up, a proper seal failed. You must either refrigerate them or reprocess immediately (with new lid) Use unsealed products with a few days. Do not store jar with band on them (if you do, do not tighten!). Clean the jars from residue before storing and make sure you label them. Use within a year.
*if your product didn’t seal, repeat the entire process including, removing everything from jar, re-heating product, with washed jars, and new lids.

My very first pressure canned item of the year šŸ™‚ I selected carrots becuase they are easy, and if I didn’t do it right, I’d be able to cook them and use them right away. Not sure what will be next but can’t wait to start again šŸ™‚

5 thoughts on “I said Can it already!!

  1. Ken

    You should try Sweet Pickles, your mom loves them. Both my Mom and her mom used to make them maybe they have a recipe for them

  2. Sofia

    WOW!!! Well done!! I keep telling myself that i need to get started on canning… Checking out from MBC and following now!

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