Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Let the hard core canning begin

By the time we arrived home on Monday from a wonderful weekend with Dave's family in Arkansas, we were completely exhausted. Including a hour-long lunch at Cracker Barrel, it was an 8 hour day on the road. We snatched Kelsey from her Bed and Breakfast (aka the vet) just before it closed at 6:00 and high-tailed it home only to discover that the kitties had puked 7 times (one was a hairball, but the rest a result of overfeeding themselves - the little pigs!), peed on the laundry room floor, and shredded a packet paper we had left on the coffee table (will the dentist believe us when we say the cat ate our insurance card?). Ugh. Another exhausting hour later, the house was clean, we were unpacked, and it was time for dinner - Kitty Noodle Casserole, anyone?

I put together a quickie dinner of eggs and toast (maybe we'll have that casserole tomorrow) while Dave showered. Afterwards, we collapsed on the couch to catch up on email. Perfect - a nice quiet evening ahead of us. No reason to get up and neither one did until... I was checking the delivery status of my pressure canner. It was supposed to arrive by UPS the day of our return and in checking their website I saw it as marked "delivered." I ran to the front door knowing that I hadn't heard the bell. "What time is it? It's marked delivered at 7:24" I yelled to Dave. "It's 7:40," he replied, then followed with, "the garage!"  We both ran outside and into the garage where the delivery driver had snuck in and out without us ever knowing. 

Feeling renewed (if only for a few minutes), we carried the box into the house and eagerly extracted the newest edition to our kitchen. And here she is - our first pressure canner. I can see it now... canned soups lining the shelves, eating local corn and green beans well into the winter months... the possibilities are endless. He he. Let the hard core canning begin - Kitty Stew, maybe?...

16 comments:

Burbanmom said...

I got the exact same canner for my birthday! It took me two months to work up the nerve to use it (I was afraid I'd blow up the house or poison us all) but now I love it! In fact, I'll be canning today!

maryann said...

I'm laughing about the cats. I left my alone for the weekend one time and came home to find an entire roll of toilet paper unravelled, shredded and all over the house. Needless to say I remembered to take the roll off the holder and hide it in the cabinet from then on whenever I went away.
Good luck with the pressure canner, I'd love to hear more about how you make out with it. My girlfreind gave me her mother's old boiling water canning pot last year and I was brave enough to try using it this year. I made 3 jars of pickles and a jar of pickled beets this past weekend. I'm hoping they came out okay, it wasn't that hard to do and I found some really good recipes on line I'd love to try. The pressure canner looked intimidating, loved to know how you make out.

fearlesschef said...

Welcome, welcome beautiful little canner! Are you not excited to get rolling?

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

What a weekend.

Hahahaha about the kitties, ours do the same thing. Well one of them to be exact, Nermal. We don't even have to go out of town for her to do it. We'll feed them, she will gorge herself, throw up, and then go eat again! I don't know what to do about it!

How fun about your canner, you'll have to keep us up to date on any goodies you can!

Bobbi said...

My mom has that same canner - I always borrow her's when I'm doing marathon cannings!

Green Resolutions said...

Our two tomato plants are doing so well and all the blog talk about canning is inspiring me. I might just try my luck at it. But I'll pack up my tomatoes and take them to my grandmother's house b/c I'm chicken :)

Good luck!

jennconspiracy said...

I've never used a pressure cooker - I imagine that would open a whole new world of canning options for me but I haven't enough space for storing my current efforts and experimentation!

Poor kitties - I had a kitty who would vomit up her food after eating too fast and drinking water -- all the food pieces would still be whole and unchewed. She did the same thing with wet food, though. I would sometimes put water on her dry food to make it a bit softer and sometimes that worked but mostly, I think it is just a stray cat problem.

Also, for hairballs, give them some melted butter on their food sometimes. They like that. :)

Heather @ SGF said...

burbanmom - I'm a little nervous myself but I've read the pamphlet twice and it doesn't sound like a big deal. I just need to do it once to eliminate the mystery behind it, I'm sure. You are pretty comfortable with yours, then?

maryann - I'll definitely be posting updates about how the pressure canner works. I'll still use my water bath, but this will be great for soups. Soups will be so much easier now since I won't have to take them out of the freezer before hand to thaw. I'll just pull them off the shelf. I'm so excited!

fearlesschef - I'm ecstatic! I'll be loading up on veggies this weekend at the farmers market. I'm hoping to can some soup.

jennifer - to keep them from tossing their cookies all the time, we only feed them small amounts twice a day. They were just getting too fat and this keeps them on a diet, at a good weight, and keeps Isabel from being a complete pig and barfing it all back up. I swear it must be like having kids that just never grow up...

bobbi - it seems like a good one. It must be since everyone has one. What all do you can?

green resolution - actually, that's a great way to learn. Have your grandmother show you how until you are comfy doing it on your own. Good luck!

jennconspiracy - you aren't kidding. I don't think either of us realized just how big this canner was. It doesn't fit in any of our cabinets so its in the pantry/laundry room on an open top shelf to stay out of the way until I need it. It's a monster of a pot!

Thanks for the hint about the hairballs. I'll mention it to Dave (I feed dogs, he feeds cats) It's the only way we stay sane around here :)

Lisa Sharp said...

I really want to learn to can! I fear I will poison everyone haha. Glad to hear lots of people have that fear!

Also be sure to read my blog titled "an award." I talk about you. :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Lisa - A little nervousness is natural. One of these days we'll look back at our canning fear and laugh at ourselves, I'm sure. I'll let you know how it goes and maybe you'll try it yourself.

Thanks for the award! That's cool!

Green Bean said...

Okay. Now I am SO jealous! I really want that.

Heather @ SGF said...

Green Bean - it really wasn't all that expensive. I was expecting it to be worse. Plus we had a gift certificate to bring the cost down a bit. I washed it up yesterday and got all the little gadgets attached to the top. I'm hoping to try it out on some soup this weekend. Something to go on your christmas list :)

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Beany said...

I was looking back on your archives to figure out what canner you bought (I will be buying one soon) and noticed you said cracker barrel. Since this was the second time I heard this today...I have to ask is it a store that draws mainly white people?

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany - :) I had forgotten all about Cracker Barrel. I'll never forget the salad I ordered there though. I didn't see the word "bacon" on the menu and when the salad came, I swear they used an entire pig's worth of bacon on it. I was pretty creeped out, but I was hungry so I sat there forever just picking it all out.

Melissa @ HerGreenLife said...

Heather, not sure if you still respond to comments here anymore, but I was curious about how the canner is holding up. We're considering this one or the All American 921 21 1/2 quart pressure canner. The All American is more expensive, but seems like it might be more durable -- no plastic gasket/seal to wear out. Anyway, that's why I'm curious how yours is holding up. Thanks!