Yesterday I blogged about why I can, today It is about how.
One thing to remember, the old saying - Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your kitchen!
I am very blessed in this time of my life to be able to carefully purchase the tools that I need, and I haven't rushed this. It took a few experiences to figure out what works best for my family with our resources.
An important factor in building your kitchen is what to you want to over all accomplish? Of course eating is right up there, but what type of eating? For us it is no processed foods - I process my own.
Economy, we don't want to go broke doing this, Organic - which goes back to not going broke.
I watch the Aldi's flyers, and local sales, farmers market and try to meal plan. A real Biggie - I waste nothing! Did you know if you buy organic salad greens and can't eat them fast enough, you can dehydrate them and turn them into soups and smoothies and all kinds of other things? Yeah, Yum!
I have a shelf in my little kitchen that really helps me keep things moving right along and a work console
Here I have some of my vintage canners, they are all in the same line of Mirro's 23Qt, 16Qt, 12Qt and 8Qt. I use them all. Do I need them all, well probably not - but in my world , oh yes! I use the canner that best fits my purpose. I feel this saves energy and labor. I could can 2 pints of chilli in the 23 Qt canner. Now in my own defense - this is what I spend my $$ on, I don't go to the hair dresser or get my nails done. There is a whole list of things I don't spend on, but this I do - carefully.
I keep my canning reference and cookbooks on this rack -top shelf. Then the pressure canners, and on the third shelf my bread maker because I also make my own Gluten Free, Dairy Free bread, a dehydrator and jelly maker. The bread making is not an option if I want to enjoy good tasting bread - again not buying processed foods. All of these tools were purchased second hand except the dehydrator, Steve bought that for Christmas for me in 2017. All of the tools other than the dehydrator cost under $200.00 - all together!
I choose these canners after buying and trying other types and then reselling them because this style works best with my glass top stove - it is completely flat bottomed, a good gauge of metal - but not to heavy for my glass top range. I have an All American that I will be selling - a great canner but I feel to heavy when loaded for my glass top range.
And I am very happy with the weighted gauge system and how it works with these pressure canners and my stove
On the bottom shelf, 2 more 23Qt canners and a food saver vacuum machine - I do freeze some things and keep a small spare freezer. I have a newer presto 23 qt canner I use just for pressure cooking - I make a lot of bone broth and use this for 4 hours instead of other methods that take up to 48 hours to process - again I feel it is a time and energy thing mine and the electric bill! Another 23qt Mirror - doing big batches I alternate the big canners one load processing, another cooling. A big stainless stock pot for cooking - I do not like to use aluminum for any type of cooking. my one exception is the bone broth and that is a new canner that I hope is a safe grade of metal than the vintage models.
I also stove stop pressure cookers ( helps me with meeting my 91 year old moms food needs) and have an electric canner for tiny batches I can dinner leftovers that are 'Ginny Safe' as well as freeze extra meals for Steve's lunches .And a new to me Instapot! The stove top models were purchased from eBay at half the cost ( that included the shipping if you are reading this Steve!)
On my work bench console I keep my food processor - a vintage Cuisinart DC7 work horse and all the attachments- I have had that for 20+ years. All of these tools are handy and I use all of them
It all helps us stay healthy and keep a well stocked pantry. Of course I love doing all this, so it is a healthy hobby and something I can share with friends and my daughters!
Hope this peek at my "food system" was enjoyable and maybe helpful to you!
Thanks for stopping by,
This is a great post. I have found it very helpful if only for the fact that over here in England we call the canners - Pressure Cookers.
Now that we know what you use to can your goods perhaps you could do a post on how to. I love that photo of all your canned goods in your pantry, I can only keep dried foods in mine but would love to change them over .....
thanks for a great blog.
Thank you Christine for your kind words and I will start doing 'how to's! Canning is not difficult but it is a specific art! I always stress Safe Canning!
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