Behold The Pressure Canner:
Purchased for me by my mother-in-law for Christmas, this thing is 16 pounds (yes, I weighed it) of solid aluminum glory. It is at least 50 years old, evidenced by the fact that the instruction booklet gives you instructions for cooking over a wood stove and canning in tin cans. But it is in great condition, and looks as though you could launch it into outer space and let it fall back to earth with minimal damage. I was a little nervous about trying it out, concerned equally by the possibilities of botulism and actually shooting it into outer space from my stove (or at least causing a minor kitchen explosion). But said mother-in-law came into town this weekend, so I used the opportunity to try it out under the supervision of a canning pro. I had my eyes set on a recipe for strawberry jam from the cookbook Grain Free Gourmet. Finding an SCD-legal jam, made without sugar or sugar-based pectin, is a challenge. This jam uses strawberries and honey, with just enough cranberries added to thicken the jam. The results were delicious! The recipe recommends refrigerating for 2 weeks or freezing for up to 6 months, since there are no preservatives in this jam. I decided to try out my canning prowess, and, success! Well-sealed jars full of enough strawberry jam to adorn my pb&j sandwiches for the next year.
And this has got me thinking about new canning adventures to take on this summer. Tomatoes for the winter are a must. Baked beans and pre-made soups would be great camping companions. Fermented veggies would be a nutritious option. Does anyone out there can or have aspirations of canning? What are/would be your go-to canned foods?