When most people think of pressure cooking or canning, all they can remember are mothers, aunts, and grandmothers stressfully saying "get the children out of the kitchen!". My family dabbled in canning but I don't remember anyone using a pressure canner. Still, the pressure canner is a little intimidating looking and it doesn't help that stupid terrorists have used them for making homemade bombs.
Whatever...we started gardening this year and working really hard to improve the quality of foods we eat. Part of the equation is preserving what we grow. We purchased the pressure cooker a year ago. My big plan was to find someone to mentor me in pressure cooking or to take some classes.
Mentors? Yeah, right! All my friends who can are so busy working and taking care of family that it never seemed to work out logistically. I took a few classes from a couple of people. Not only weren't the lessons hands on but the only workshop that actually produced something, well, let's just say the result was disgusting looking. The instructor handed out defrosted bags of frozen vegetables for our "creations". Yucch. I'm saving that particular jar for the compost.
A friend gave me more than 50 pounds of ripe tomatoes and I wanted to make spaghetti sauce from scratch and preserve in jars. You can hot water bath tomatoes but for some reason, once you turn them into spaghetti sauce and add other vegetables, the acid content is insufficient for hot water baths unless you add back in lemon juice. Most food safety experts recommend pressure cooking and since I want the food to be safe, I decided to try it on my own.
You know? It wasn't that bad and I can say that I'm already looking forward to the next time I do this. I tasted the sauce before I put it into the jars and have to admit it was divine tasting. There really is a difference between slow cooked homemade sauce and jars of Bertolli or Ragu. Absolutely no similarity between commercially processed and home processed.
So, this is how this particular Realtor spent her weekend. Cooking and still conducting business! After listening to the steam releasing so often and the thought of canning, I started having Canned Heat tunes running through my head and of course, thinking about the slow food movement, fresh markets and gardens, it appears we all need to work together to practice healthier food habits.
At any rate, Monday Melodies is pleased to present Canned Heat and Let's Work Together!
Have a great week.