My family knows me too well. Or at least what my passion is. It was definitely an educational Christmas for me:
My haul of books!
I knew the Seed Starter's book was coming from my daughter (We found it at the thrift store for 75 cents right before Thanksgiving and she got it for me). I spent the day reading through all of these plus the Four-Season Harvest book that I got for myself (I ordered something from Amazon and wanted to qualify for free shipping). There is so much information to digest I'm glad it's winter so I have time to read.
But here is the scary part:
The All American 925
Yup, Santa came through with a cadillac canner. He got me an All American canner. I guess he did his research and decided that this was the best made. And fairly local- it's made in Wisconsin. But the thing terrifies me. Okay, it excites me at the same time- kind of like the feeling you get while waiting for the roller coaster to take off... you know it will be fun but it's scary at the same time. The big warning labels plastered all over it don't help. I grew up with my Mom canning so I know the basics. She let us help when she did water bath canning but didn't want us in the kitchen when she had the pressure canner going. I think some of that rubbed off on me and I still have this fear of the thing blowing up. But this one is also supposed to be incredibly safe (as safe as hot metal under steam pressure can be). Now I just need to figure out how to use it.
My friend Jim stopped over yesterday with gifts for the children and he was about as excited about the canner as I was. He evidently been asking another friend to teach him canning basics but she has never followed through, so he wants to learn along with me- and I told him I'd teach him water bath canning next summer.
I've got a lot of research to do. I need to figure out something I can make to practice using this monstrosity before I really need it. Any suggestions for a winter friendly canning project?