I DID IT!
Eons ago, I "helped" my mother can. We canned green beans and tomatoes and peaches…and a myriad of things that I don't even remember. She instilled a healthy fear in me of canning with a pressure cooker — she had one of those ancient ones of the era of potentially exploding pressure cookers. I guess it was beyond a "healthy" fear; actually, I have been too paranoid to can anything.
Moving into the world of prepping has brought me to the point of acting…in the face of my paranoia.
Thankfully, I follow some great blogs, Little Wife on the Prairie (Hi, Rachelle!) and The Frugal Girl to name a couple — both of whom have done fairly recent posts on canning. Funny, now that I think about it, they were both posts on making jelly from juice! Anyway, they each had their own spin on things, but the combined effect was that I felt empowered enough to at least give jelly-making and water-bath canning a shot. Whew!
I did call a local friend to come help.
I thought she was an experienced canner.
She did want to learn, though, and so she came to play! She loves my kids…which is really a blessing because a good portion of her help was keeping Little Bit out from under foot! Thanks, Granny Franni!
I'm not going to go step-by-step on this. Really. I don't have the time, and, honestly, you don't want to hear about my flubs and panics of yesterday. Well…maybe you do. If nothing else, it would make the rest of the world of canners feel really good about themselves! Sorry 'bout ya, but you're going to have to get those strokes somewhere else today! Hee hee!
Regardless of my flubs, though, we got four quarts and one pint (and a little bit more) of grape jelly made. (Had I filled the jars sufficiently, it would have just been the 4.5 quarts.) We canned the four quarts and put the other in the fridge. I had also made homemade apple butter. Oh my. That's some delectable stuff. I made just over two quarts, but we only canned one quart, sent a pint home with Granny Franni and put the remainder in the fridge.
You'll notice in the picture that there's a jar of clear stuff. My husband wanted us to try out canning water. It can be done, and that quart will be on my shelf for a few months, and then we'll see how well it aerates and tastes. I don't see us doing that for any kind of large water storage — it's not incredibly practical.
So…for my first foray into canning, it was a bit nerve-wracking, but I know I can do it…and I know that I'll be better next time…and, yes, there will be a next time.