Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Quick Canning Tale

Seven quarts of beautiful homemade stock, pressure canned, sealed, and ready to head downstairs into the pantry.  Except, for a moment there, I thought I was going to have stock on the ceiling of the kitchen, not in the downstairs pantry.

I have been learning to pressure can, and so far my attempts at canned corn and applesauce, both last year, have been successful and easy.  Canning stock was also easy, but I am always a little wary of canning things that are primarily liquid because of the tendency for them to boil in the jar.

I followed my canner's instruction manual to the letter, and after allowing the pressure gauge to return to zero and removing the weight to release all the steam, it said I could remove the lid.

When I did so, the burst of cooler air into the heated canner made the lids of the jars heave.  They expanded and then contracted, releasing the air in the headspace to create a vacuum, but they did this over and over and over.  Plink. Plunk. Plink. Plunk.  All while the stock bubbled in the jar.

"Put the lid back on!  Put the lid back on!" I yelled at Mr. FC&G.  Apparently, even the specified waiting time and the steam venting procedure were not enough for this batch of stock.  So we put the lid back on and went to watch a movie, checking on the jars later before we went to bed.  Then they were cool, sealed,  and ready to remove.

So that's it.  Pressure canning isn't hard, but from now on I'm joining the club of those who do their canning late at night and then take the jars out the following morning.  I don't need that kind of drama in my kitchen.
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