Monday, August 5, 2013

Canning Bug Fever

Oh, goodness gracious, y'all!  I have been bitten by the canning bug, and I don't know the cure for canning fever!  Perhaps I don't want the itch to stop! I am having the best time!

I just want you to be very aware, though!  If you get bitten, you could end up looking like this!  This picture is so ugly, it makes me laugh every single time I look at it!

I have been sitting here thinking back to what in the world ever made me want to start canning- I mean really canning, as in pressure canning.  I have been doing simple things that I can water bath like jams, fruit, tomatoes, and pickled things, but for some reason I woke up one day and just HAD to learn how to pressure can.  Looking back, I think it had to do something with Mari.  Oh, Mari!  Yes... Mari....She just had to go and mention I could can some of the meat from my hogs.  That was the bug that bit.  Then there was Barbara Ann.  She and her daughter-in-law, Lisa, just had to come and show me how to make all sorts of yummy things with tomatoes.  That's when the itch started.  And Donna???  Shame on her!  She and her mom had to go and show me peaches!  Ca-pow!!!  Just like that, my mind exploded into a whirlwind of ideas, but so many of them required a pressure canner!  Such naughty ladies!  Whatever will I do with them??? :) :) :)  I guess I will just have to love them even more!

In all seriousness, I really did have a whirlwind of ideas floating around in my head, and I really did need a pressure canner.  I was SO afraid of it, though.  I would get up my nerve, go to the store to get it, and lose my nerve.  There the canner would stay on the shelf until I did the same thing several more times.  Finally, I just told myself I was being plain silly.  I went and made myself buy it and several cases of jars, and a couple packs of meat on clearance.  There were to be no excuses not to do it and learn.

I went home and watched instruction video after instruction video on youtube.  I read the instructions over and over again.  I couldn't sleep that night, I was so anxious over canning.  I got up the next morning after a few hours of sleep and decided to take the canner to my sister's bakery so I wouldn't have to do it alone. Wouldn't you know she was terribly busy, and I couldn't do it there?  Back home I went with the unused canner.  It was time for back up, so my alter ego, as they say on The Incredibles, had to step in.  It was City Girl on the Farm's turn to take over.  {If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I grew up in the city and didn't learn many skills I need when my husband has to be out of town for long stretches of time.  I created the City Girl Saga just to make the scary things like learning to get squealing baby piglets back into a pen full of upset pigs and learning to operate the lawn mower and canner more light-hearted and interesting. I don't really have a split personality, lol!  (You can breathe a sigh of relief now!)}

Anyway, back to the story.  I, City Girl, walked in the house with the canner determined to get the job done even if it killed me.  Believe me, I thought it would for a while, but I made myself believe I was prepared to just do it!
I look ready, right???  Haha!  We took these at the bakery before I left.  :)
I shook as I put water in that big old pan knowing/not knowing what was to come.  I sent the children to the back of the house to play and told them not to come out until I called them.  Still shaking, I put the lid on and turned on the eye.  I felt so weak and trembly!  It made so many horrible, scary noises as it heated up!  The steam vented for 10 minutes just like the directions said.  Then it was time to put the regulator on top.  I nearly jumped out of my skin when I dropped that thing on the stem!  I was sick at my stomach by now.  I just didn't think I could do it.  I wanted to turn the eye off so badly, but I knew if I did I would just eventually have to do it all over again.  Onward I went.  That crazy regulator eventually started rocking, and I knew for sure my short breaths meant I was going to hit the floor!  Why in the world do the temperature knobs have to be on the back of the stove way behind that canner?  Don't people know I don't want to reach over that thing???  I darted between the stove and behind my kitchen island for several minutes!  Good grief, I got a workout trying to get that regulator slow and steady enough!  Eventually, the regulator slowed and reached a nice, gentle rock.  I was just like a baby.  That gentle rocking calmed me too.  Eventually, I stopped trembling and could breathe normally.  The sickness left.  After about twenty-minutes of the regulator gently rocking, I knew City Girl had prevailed.  I removed the canner from they eye, let it decompress, removed the regulator, and took the lid off the canner to reveal the fruits of all my stress and labor:

It was just a big ole pot of nothin' except water!  Isn't that the best looking water in the bottom of the pot that you have ever seen?  :D  I was so proud of that water!  Mari's husband, Nathan, thought it was very funny.  I haven't seen either of them since they found out I canned a big pot of nothing.  I bet I am going to catch it when I see them!  :)  That's alright.  What fun is life without a little jabbing?

You will be pleased to know that I turned around and canned four cans of meat after I canned the pot of nothing.  It turned out so pretty!  I will share it with you in the next post!  In the meantime, face your fears head on!  If I can manage not to destroy my home and self and not absolutely die from fear of learning to use it, I PROMISE you can too!

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!


  1. I knew you could do it...and for you to do it alone was the best...if I would have done it for you or even showed you still would have had to take this you have...proud of you can do anything or should you can,can anything.....