A big family Christmas gift to us from Papa and Mama Byrd was a pressure cooker/canner. I have yearned for a pressure canner for several years, and while I might be more excited about it than anyone else in our family, the benefits will definitely come to the whole clan.
So far on the “cooker” side of things, I’ve cooked a chicken & potatoes meal (that certainly showed my learning curve!), some oh-mercy-delicious soups, and some dried beans for using in a casserole. It seems like that list should be longer, but it’s all I can remember at present. There are things for which I am really going to like pressure cooking.
Ah, but the dream for years has been to be able to pressure can, because with a pressure canner, you can can foods that will not preserve properly in a water-bath canner. When I saw turkeys on sale for .50 a pound in early January, I was thrilled to buy a couple. And after I got them home, I remembered… I can can these!! There was much rejoicing.
A good bit of canned turkey broth/stock/meat has passed through our canner since then, and the process has reinforced my need for a means to better track my canning efforts. You see in the above picture (lower right lid) the remnants of my old “method” of tracking the details of my canning… trying to cram all the info onto the top of the lid. Not so tidy or effective. So I purchased a notebook just for my Canning Stuff. Isn’t she purdy?
The second section has my initial inventory. This includes the unopened jars of stuff I’ve canned that are still around. I’d like to add pages with a brief numbers account of each canning session/season/year.
The first section is for canning notes. Things like what I actually put into the peach butter I made last summer:
And detailed information about purchased food for canning, what went into each batch, how I canned it, etc:
The above picture doesn’t include all the info I actually want to include on these pages. I will be redoing it in more of a chart form, I think. Date, size of jar, method with times/psi, ingredients, etc. I am a do-things-on-the-computer person. But it just does not work well for keeping track of my canning, esp. not for what goes in to each batch. And canning is such a wonderfully down-home skill, I find it fitting to be hand-writing my notes about it.
Do you can? How do you keep track of your efforts?