It has been a busy weekend! In addition to the spiced plum jam I made on Saturday, I took on two more canning projects this weekend: beans and cucumbers. Everything in the garden seems to be maturing (and require attention) at once. The beans in particular have been producing a lot lately. This morning I picked Santa Ana, Spanish Musica, and Maxibel beans and decided to can them instead of freezing them. This meant that I had to use the pressure canner for the first time. A few weeks ago, I ordered the All-American 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner. This is a giant beast of a contraption, but it should last forever. After reading all the directions, and many dire warnings about all the things that could go wrong, I managed to successfully can the beans without blowing up the house. In fact, it wasn’t that hard.
I finished up by making the Grandma Dill Pickles in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preservation book. This book is really helpful because it contains both detailed canning instructions as well as recipes. In addition to the pressure canner, the Ball water bath canner is new to me this year. I’m really getting the hang of using it. And speaking of canning equipment, Amazon has set up a canning store. If you are thinking of giving canning a try, they have pretty much everything you could need plus a lot of good, basic canning information.