I see that municipal failure and not-so-subtle racist Mayor Nagin of New Orleans has a mandatory evacuation order up. This means that citizens are urged to evacuate, highways are opened in one direction for evacuation, buses are brought in and 40% of the police department suddenly packs its bags and disappears.
It’ll be interesting to see how this goes. After Katrina you can bloody well believe there were some folks down there who got religion real fast in regards to being prepared. I look forward to the news stories that start of with “Although not everyone was left in the dark. Some residents were prepared like New Orleans resident ….”. Naturally therell be the same idiots sitting around saying “We ain’t go no money to go nowhere” and there’ll be the hue and cry that the poor and black were ‘left behind’ and ‘fell through the cracks’. We’ll see. If you go through Katrina, survive, and then do the same stupid things at the next big hurricane you probably are just too slow a learner to live
So…made a couple gallons of the missus’ favorite soup.
And while she likes it very much, theres no way she can consume all of it before it starts to get funky. Even throwing it in the fridge will only gain it a few days. Now, I could freeze it but I lose a bit of convenience by having to wait for it to thaw. Plus, I dont want to squander all my freezer space. If only there were some way to preserve food safely so it can be stored in a room temperature environment. If only..if only…wait! What have we here….
This would be an excellent time to try my new uber pressure canner. And, fortuitously, I just happen to have a couple dozen pint jars and lids. Good planning, that. Since these jars were purchased at WalMart and therefore could have been handled by any trailer-park mutant its a good idea to clean and sterilize the bloody things. Everybody into the pool for a nice relaxing bath in some boiling water.
Once they been cleaned and sterilized, they are set aside for use along with the usual tools of the trade – a jar lifter for lifting hellaciously hot jars without burning myself, a funnel to fill the jars while keeping the outsides and rims sanitary, and a magnetic wand to lift the lids out of the hot water they are waiting in.
Okay, soup is at a boil so we turn it down, jars are cleaned and ready, lids are patiently waiting…time to fill ‘em up and close em up.
In this case I filled fifteen jars and had enough soup left over for immediate usage over the next few days. First layer of jars is stacked in the canner. Make sure that canner is positioned where you want it ’cause once its full it aint going anywhere. This new canner has plenty of room for two layers and thats what I did.
After that it gets sealed up, looking kinda like something form the Manhattan Project, and I patiently wait for the pressure to get up to the desired 12# for 75 minutes. (In actuality the pressure fluctuated between 12#-#13 but as long as it never went below 12# and it was the full 75 minutes, we’re cool.
And the finished products. The stuff comes out of the canner so hot (since the pressure allows contents to become hotter than boiling) that the contents of the jar will continue to boil for about twnety minutes even after being removed. We have hard water here so theres some mineral residue on the jars from the process but it wipes off with a towel. At this point I am not touching these jars if I can help it…they are extremely hot. Thats why the jar lifter..its like lifting fuel rods in a reactor. After a while the contents cool enough to form a vacuum that seals the jar and pulls the lids into a seal, causing little metallic ‘ping’s to be heard. After that each jar is very carefully examined. The lids should all be concave from the vacuum. All fifteen looked good.
As for the canning process itself, yes its that easy. If a complete klutz like me can do it, you can do it.
Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving, Robert Rose Press #9780778801313 or #0778801314
Canning and Preserving For Dummies, For Dummies #0764524712 or #9780764524714
A bit of notekeeping for my own references – 1 doz. Kerr pints with lids was $7.00 at Walmart