Last week I spent 2 full days canning the "fruits" of my garden labor. This year my green beans and cucumbers are really producing. YAY! In the past couple of years things have not produced as well as I would have liked but with a new arrangement in my beds and the addition of a large trellis for the cucumbers I am thankfully picking a basket full of veggies almost everyday. The addition of the cucumber trellis has made everyone in this house happy because that means mom makes pickles.
Pickles are probably one of the easiest veggies to can. I made two kinds; bread and butter and dill. The prep work for pickles is probably the most time consuming because it requires lots of slicing but once you have that done everything else is really simple.
This year I have conquered my fear (I think) of the Pressure Cooker. My grandmother used a pressure cooker for so many things but I was always terrified of it. The only way to can green beans safely is to pressure can them. I am not fond of frozen green beans and I'm really not fond of food poisoning so I was left with only one choice. Pressure canning. I purchased my pressure canner and it sat in the box for several days. Unfortunately the box is quite large so "out of sight, out of mind" didn't work. Finally, knowing that I needed to can the green beans soon or they would go bad, I got out the book and read all the instructions. I talked to my mom several times about how scared I was and she suggested that I find a You Tube video to watch. Huh, why didn't I think of that? I watched the videos, reread the instructions, crossed myself (I'm not Catholic but what could it hurt, right?!), said a few prayers, and went to work. Thankfully my kitchen is still in one piece and so am I. I will admit to standing in the doorway of the kitchen for most of the 20 minutes clutching the instruction manual.
I think I will attempt to can some salsa next. I have lots of jalapenos from the garden and I think that salsa will be a good use for them. Chips and salsa, yum!