I wasn’t expecting to do another post today – and certainly not another garden post – but I just had to! I’ve had two awesome things happen since my last post.
One is that I got an email confirming our back ordered seeds from Veseys has just been shipped! It’s only two packets of seeds; the cherry and grape tomato medley, and the third variety of bush beans we had ordered. Now, the only things left outstanding are the items that will be shipped in time for planting in our zone. I’m really glad I ordered all these back in December. Quite a few of the varieties we ordered have since gone out of stock.
Then there is the other exciting bit.
Have I mentioned I have an awesome brother?
Have I also mentioned he has an equally awesome wife?
I got a call from her this evening, asking me to check my email. She had sent me this photo.
You see, I had asked them to keep an eye out for a pressure canner for me and this evening, while on their way to a romantic dinner out, they stopped at a Canadian Tire. Because who can turn down a quick run into Canadian Tire?
They found a pressure canner (yes, I know; it says cooker, but it’s the same tool) in stock!
It’s even one that was on some of the “top 10” lists I’d been looking at. Plus, it’s on sale!
Did I want her to pick it up for me?
Yes. Yes, I did!
Then, just moments after we hung up the phone, she called back. Since she was there, in the canning supplies section anyhow, was there anything else I wanted?
She found a couple of boxes of wide mouth snap lids to pick up for me as well.
We are now all set for both hot water bath and pressure canning, this fall.
My sister in law is awesome!
Update: So… about that pressure canner…
As Carolee pointed out in the comments, this is a pressure cooker. I have read about them being used as canners, found instructions for them, etc. It was in the canning section, being sold as a pressure canner. It should be good. At least for small jars, like we would be using. At that size, I knew we’d never fit quart jars in there, but we aren’t planning on pressure canning anything in that size.
However, I asked my sister in law to go through the instructions to see, and apparently there is NOTHING about using this model as a canner in the instructions. Which is a bit irritating, since that’s what it was being sold as.
In the end, we’re going to keep it, rather than ask them to return it. That was a really good sale price, and we will make use of it in other ways.
We’ve been looking online for pressure canners around the province. I found one in the city, selling for $450. Well beyond our budget. I found another in a closer hardware store that was smaller and more affordable, but it’s not in stock. I am trying to avoid using Amazon, so I tried looking at more direct sources and manufacturers. They’re all in the US which means that, with the dollar difference, shipping costs and hidden expenses, I just assume it will cost double what the listed price is. Some are still affordable, but… out of stock, of course.
We will keep looking, but if how things are now is anything to go by, it looks like we will be freezing, dehydrating and pickling vegetables, rather than canning them! I do want to can things like meat, chili, soups and stews, too, and for that, we will need a pressure canner. We’ve canned chili before, but that was to keep them in the fridge for quick meals. Which was really handy. I’ve also canned soup stock but, again, it had to be refrigerated and used fairly quickly. In the long term, I want to have shelf-stable produce, and there is no getting around needing a pressure canner to ensure the food stays safe. Ultimately, we can do without. We have alternatives.