Under pressure

In an effort to use up a little vacation time, and give myself a couple of “me” days, I took the past two Mondays off.  Relaxation efforts on the first Monday?  A big fat FAIL.

I told myself I would do better this past Monday.  That all flew out the window when I foolishly offered to deal with our latest tomato harvest, which included my first foray into pressure canning.*

A small portion of the harvest

Instead I spent the day cutting tomatoes,

Blending tomatoes,

And cooking them into sauce,

So I could cancan can.

I watched nervously as the pressure built, fearing the worst (broken jars) as I heard some suspicious noises from inside.

Nothing to do but wait.  Eleven pounds of pressure for fifteen minutes, them time for it to fully depressurize.

A peek inside . . .

No tomato vomit, i.e., tomato bits floating in the canning water, indicating certain jar breakage.  I still held my breath as I removed the jars, since sometimes a jar can crack, but remain more or less intact until moved.

All intact!  Of course, I kind-of overshot my goal of cooking the tomatoes down enough to only have to do one round (seven quarts) of canning.  My super thick sauce only yielded five quarts, which I divided into four quart jars, two pint jars, and a pint-and-a-half of tomato juice to give me seven jars for a full load.

So, relaxing Monday FAIL, but canning SUCCESS.  I’ll take it.

*We bought the pressure canner last summer, right before Pookie arrived.  Matthew used to can a few batches of green beans, but I was pretty out of commission during that time.  Matthew’s mom handled all of the tomato canning last year (water bath method), and she’s done a ton of it for us already this season.


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