Oooh… Under Pressure

I did it!! I got a pressure canner!! Ok, perhaps I am the only one who is even vaguely excited about this. The Hubs didn’t quite understand why it was Happy Dance worthy, but that’s okay. I’ve had this idea for years that I should help out my poor bulging freezer and can some of the stuff I make like sauce and beans. Unfortunately, I’ve also had this irrational idea that I would blow a hole in the kitchen ceiling if I used a pressure cooker. Yes… I know it’s irrational, but destroying the house seemed like a good reason not to give it a try without some lessons. But then, during the Holiday Deals madness I found a 23 quart canner for half off and decided, “Why not!” and ordered it.

The pressure cooker arrived at the house and was sitting in the box for a couple days. I took one look at it and remembered my poor yogurt maker that sat in the pantry for a year unused. Now here is the part where I lost my mind… I had the day off, I was finally finished with all the organizing and the kid was at daycare. The plan was to just relax and stay in bed to recover, but instead…. I decided to make some tomato sauce and can it. The tomato sauce was nothing fancy and to be honest, I only made it to test the canning procedure. It was just a super simple tomato, onion and herb mix with a touch of balsamic vinegar (canned tomato sauce needs some acid and the lemon juice that the recipe book recommended just seemed weird to me).

So, there I was… standing in front of the stove woozy from exhaustion. I took one look at all my sterilized quart size glass jars, lids, and rings still in their hot bath and figured it was now or never. I put the tomato sauce into the jars, assembled all the jars, and gently placed them in the canning rack. As I put the lid on the canner, I figured The Hubs couldn’t possibly be THAT mad about having to extricate a pot lid from the kitchen ceiling if I was seriously exhausted at the time. I turned on the heat, and prepared for the madness. The instruction book said I needed to get the pressure gauge over 11 pounds of pressure for about 20 minutes. I kept an eye on the pressure gauge half terrified of catastrophe and kept adjusting the heat (mostly downward so it didn’t hit 15 pounds of pressure). After 20 minutes, it was all done. According to the instructions, I could just walk away and let it cool off by itself.

After that massive build up and my obsession with destroying the kitchen, it was over. I had three bottles of canned tomato sauce and a kitchen still in tact. Of course, when The Hubs got home he took one look at the kitchen and said…. “So did you rest at all today?!”

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