Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pressure Canning, or Beans are Stinky

Some friends and I got together to learn to use our pressure canners on Thursday.


We canned 9 bazillion pints of beans.  More accurately, we canned 3 x 16 pints.  We were at Robin's until 3 am.  I am still catching up on sleep.  Also, it did not smell yummy.

Canning your own beans works out to about 1/4 the price of cans from the store, don't require soaking and prepping the day before like dried beans (because you've already done it prior to canning), and contain much-reduced levels of BPA.

I wish they contained zero chemicals of any kind, but that's hard to do in this day and age. The Ball and Knorr lids do contain BPA, so during the canning process, your food is vulnerable.  However, as long as you store them upright, the exposure is limited to during the actual canning.

If I had a million dollars, I'd can everything in these.  Alas, I do not have a million dollars.  Is is weird that one of my When-I-Win-The-Lottery Fantasies, is using fancy jars for my home-canning needs?  I guess that's how I know I'm a real hippie.

We put up kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, white northern beans, black eyed peas, and chick peas.  During the downtime, we played Hearts and gossiped, just like the hippies of yore.  Let it be known, I lost big.  Anne is a formidable opponent.

I advocate canning with friends.  It takes forever and has lots of time where you aren't doing much but still need to sort of be paying attention.  Pressure canning in particular needs to be monitored to prevent some sort of produce-based Hiroshima.

As a side note, I'm thinking of making something like this in which to store my canned bounty.  What do you think?  Whose husband can I convince to make it for us?

Today was a thrift day. Check out my new fabric shelf.  $10.

Thrifted dinosaurs.  Roar!

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