Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Pressure Canning First Time

I ordered my Pressue canner from the UK last November and friends of ours who were travelling this way brought it over for me.  I devoured the book of instructions and then put it on the kitchen worktop where it stayed, glaring at me, for several months.  It all seemed a little bit scary.

Finally I thought I had better use it.  Now my rules are that its important to research before tackling aything new so when it comes to Pressure canning you have to look to the experts, and quite simply, that means the Americans.

As much as I love our American cousins I do find some of their practices a little irritating.  For example... weights and measures.  1 cup?  Which cup? Whose cup? Getting an accurate decision on what the volume of a cup is, is almost impossible... I had a set of cups which  were quite old so I bought new ones and these are positively not the same size as the originals.  The internet is not much help either since you get so much information its hard to know which is accurate.

I also have a USA published recipe book that not only measures solids in cups but also in cubic millilitres (a conversion made to no doubt make it easier for the Europeans???)

Since I am old enough to remember pounds and ounces I do have a set of weights in imperial as well as metric (whose a clever girl?)

Anyway, that little bugbear put to one side I wombled over to Iowa Sue on the internet (if you are interested she is HERE) and was actually very impressed by the easy instructions and tips that she gave.

Once I got over the panic surrounding 'what is a quart?' and converted the Farenheit temperatures to Celcius (btw Celsius and Kilograms are the standard precision measurements used by scientists all over the world, including America.  Isn't cooking a science?)  But I digress...

Voila Meat balls!  I passed on my favourite meatball recipe in favour of Iowa Sue's just to be on the safe side.  I did reduce the egg quantity because the mix was a bit sloppy for my liking.  She also mentioned scoop sizes.  Again, another mystery.  I have only one scoop, its for ice cream and it doesn't have a size written on it... I used my fingers.

Three quart jars of meat balls in stock.  Two jars of meatballs in tomato juice and one jar of meatballs in water.  I had enough left over for lunch which I popped into my usual tomato sauce.

And for those who are nervous about the idea of Pressure canning... it was not as scary as I thought it was going to be and I think I will be doing this regularly.   Of course the scary part could still be to come when we eat them!  If you want the recipe, I believe Iowa Sue has it covered.

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