Friday, September 07, 2012

The Pressure Canner

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I've had my fill of tomatoes.  Wow!  Even two weeks ago, I didn't suspect that it would be possible to get tired of tomatoes.  Ever.  But sadly, the tomato sandwich no longer calls to me, enticing me, whispering that I should have a second, or a third, or a fourth.

Now the work of continuing to put them up.

Earlier this week I made a huge batch of chili.  BEST chili I've made in years.  I put seven quarts into the pressure canner.  Phooey.  Every single one of them leaked.  The seal on three lids stayed, but I am suspicious of those jars anyway.  Tonight I hauled out one of the jars that didn't seal; after 90 minutes in the canner, the flavor had changed.  It's still perfectly acceptable, but it's not blow-your-socks-off yummy any more. 

When I canned the salsa, I forgot to add the lemon juice.  (These days, the low-acid tomatoes require added acid to ensure safety when water-bath canning.)  So I don't know whether to put those salsa jars in the refrigerator, or whether they will be safe enough in the basement pantry for a couple of months.

I know that it's supposed to be better to can your food than freeze it.  I know canned food is safe even when the freezer fails.  I know it's easier to heat the canned food quickly.  But if I spend hours of work canning, only to botch it up and have the taste go downhill, is it okay if I just cross my fingers and hope the freezer keeps doing its job to preserve my goodies?

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