Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Joy of Canning

I grew up around canning, but it was not until I was an adult that I came to know the true joys of canning. There is something about planting, growing, harvesting and preserving that gives me an inner feeling of satisfaction. In my early adult life I canned tomatoes, salsa, pickles and jelly using the hot water bath method. I stayed away from pressure cookers. When I was a child I thought a pressure cooker was a time bomb getting ready to explode and I carried that fear into my adulthood. But as the old saying goes wisdom comes with age. My journey into pressure cooker canning began by asking family members about it, then one summer I helped my 80 year old adopted grandmother can green beans. I still had no desire to own a pressure cooker or attempt it by myself but I was warming up to the idea. I had someone offer me a pressure cooker and I turned it down. Oh, to go back in time. I now live in a place where I can have a larger garden, so last year I asked my mom to teach me how to use the pressure cooker. I found it such a joy to learn from my mother. As she was teaching me, there was a time that I asked her "Why do you do it like that?" Her answer was simple "Because that's the way my mother did it." It was in that moment that I realized a legacy was being passed down. I look forward to the day when I can teach my children to use a pressure cooker. When they ask me "why" I know just what I will say. But for now, they volunteer to help and when the jars are taken out they try to guess which one will seal first. I can't help but join in the game.
Now don't you want that same incredible sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and creative fulfillment from putting up your own food as I get. Go ahead try it! There's nothing to be afraid of!


  1. Perhaps you should include a disclaimer, stating that you are not responsible for any loss of life or limb that may result from using the pressure cooker. haha.

  2. I almost bought a pressure cooker a month ago but was told it wasn't necessary for canning. What would I have to use a pressure cooker for? What is the difference between this method and the other? I'll be a beginner this year so I'm trying to gather as much information as possible. Thank you.

  3. Debbie, I've always been told that you have to use a pressure cooker for green beans. I'm not really sure why or if anyone ever has done it without it. I have done the hot water bath method alot. Mainly for tomotoes, salsa, jellies, etc. Now that I have learned how to use the pressure cooker I use it for tomatoes too. Here is a really good website that explains the differences between pressure canning and hot water bath. It may have some other helpful hints as well! Good luck this year! I am confident that you will find it very rewarding!!