Thanks to a few new kitchen gifts for Christmas, I made a huge pot of borscht this week and pressure canned it following a recipe from my new book, Batch . It covers all sorts of preservation techniques in the kitchen.
Pressure canning is new to me. Cam and I have experimented with chicken and potatoes in the last few months putting by a couple of dozen jars. We believe that growing and making as much of our food as we can will help minimize our ecological foot print. So it seemed like a natural progression to learn how to use the pressure canner.
I love borscht because we grow so many of the ingredients in our gardens in the summer. Beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes and dill. We sourced our cabbage and honey from other farmer friends. I doubled the recipe and ended up with 13 Liters. And the kids helped too! Making this a family undertaking was the highlight of the whole experience. George scrubbed, Callie peeled, I chopped and Cam prepped. And we all had a hand in growing the ingredients too.
It was a huge hit with the family and we were able to pressure can 7 jars for later and refrigerate the rest to eat and share now.
I had anxiety about learning to pressure can. I eased myself in by watching YouTube videos and reading up on recommendations. With a little practice I am now feeling confident and excited. I think pressure canning is going to help me:
1. be less dependent on freezers to store food.
2. avoid buying canned food at the grocery store.
3. allow me to know first hand where the ingredients for my canning are coming from.
4. reduce my grocery bill by making more myself.
5. engage my family in learning to become self reliant as a team