, ,

Well, I’ve finally done it! I learned how to can this last weekend.

Woo-hoo!  I’ve threatened myself for a long time that I would learn, but I just never took the time to do it.  I was scared.  I’m not sure why, it just seemed complicated, like making cheese or something.

My sister Sara’s favorite mother-in-law taught us how. (Not that my sister has more than one mother-in-law, but if she did, she would be her favorite!) 😉 We will call her Pam for short.  Pam was a wonderful teacher, and we learned lots!  It was fun too.

Before we stated the canning process, we snapped and strung the beans which were picked by Sara’s favorite father-in-law, Mark. (Thanks Mark! That saved us a lot of time!) (Oh, and yes, she only has one father-in-law also.)

Then it was on to canning…

First we (and when I say “we”, I mean Pam) sanitized and heated the jars in the dishwasher. It’s important to start with warm jars so they don’t break when you add boiling water to them…

“We” washed the beans and then put them in the jars…

Next, “we” added a teaspoon of salt to each jar, and poured boiling water over the beans (this is where it’s important to start with warm jars)…

“We” ran a knife down inside the jars to release the air bubbles (but I can’t remember why this is important. I just know it is.)…

“We” also put the lids in a bowl of boiling water to get them ready for the hot jars…

After that, “we” wiped off the rims of the jars to make sure they were clean and dry so they would seal correctly…

“We” put the hot lids on and secured them with the rings.

Pam talk to us about using Crisco on the seal of the pressure cooker at the beginning of each canning season.  This insures that the ring does not get dry rot. Very smart! (Did I mention Pam’s a genius?)

Then “we” placed the jars in the pressure cooker, making sure that they were not touching, and secured the lid.

We followed the recommended cooking time for beans for Pam’s pressure cooker, and waited, and watched the gauge. (Pam told us horror stories of people she knew who had their pressure cooker blow up, ’cause they were not watching it.  Yikes! Did I mention that we watched from afar? ;))

After the allotted cooking time, we had beautiful canned beans.  Aren’t they pretty?

We had so much fun, and it was sooo educational.  I NEED to get my own pressure cooker!  There are so many things I want to can!  (ie: salsa, spaghetti sauce, chili, chocolate cake, and more beans!) (I kid about the cake, but I’m looking into it! ;))

Ohhh!  I forgot to mention the most important part!!!  The taste!  Home grown beans are sooooooo much better than store-bought canned beans.  I can’t even tell you how good they are, other than to say my family was “fighting” over who had the most beans.  It was funny. I’m just glad they liked them as much as I did. (I could seriously make a meal out of a can of beans for myself.  What’s that song? Beans, beans, the musical fruit…) 🙂

Thanks for the beans Pam and Mark!  It was a fun day!

Now, I’m off to look into canning chocolate cake! Don’t laugh, I bet someone has tried! 🙂

Have a great weekend all!