Special Delivery!

We got a big box here at Apartment Farm today! Guess what it was. No, guess. Okay, okay – I’ll just tell you. Our beautiful 23 quart Presto pressure canner arrived today! While our budget is tight, husband and I decided it would be prudent to make a couple of capital improvements this year to increase our food and household security and the pressure canner was high on the list (along with our next goal of a beer/wine making kit). I’m super excited to get into some of the great stuff from my Can Plan for this year, especially chicken stock. I’ve got quite a few chicken carcasses and bags of veg in the freezer ready to go. I’m hoping to find the time to make up a batch or two in the next few weekends, so stay tuned!

Canning By the Numbers

Well, it’s a good thing I found time today to do a proper jar inventory and organize my canning cupboard. I do not have what I thought I did. I’m not in totally bad shape, but I do need more jars (surprise, surprise there). This is what I’m estimating that I’ll need this season –

97 quarts (8 cases)
35 pints (3 cases)
14 half pints (8 ounces) (3 cases)
5 ¼ pints (4 ounces) (1 case)

This is what I actually have –

68 quarts
10 pints
21 half pints (8 ounces)
12 ¼ pints (4 ounces)
2 small jelly jars (really old and not a standard size)
5 pint Elite jars
66 regular rings
10 Elite/wide mouth rings
116 regular lids
71 Elite/wide mouth lids

It looks like I still need a considerable number of jars to reach my goal, especially pints. I really though that I had more pint jars around here, but I guess not. And about 18 jars are currently in use, but I’m planning on those being empty by the time I start preserving. No time like the present to start scouting for deals though, since this is what I still need –

27 quarts
25 pints
23 lids
73 rings

So I’m going to get three cases of quarts (that’ll give me a few extra) and two cases of pints (since I do have the Elite pints to use if I have to, even though I don’t like using those for canning). And since I don’t store my jars with the rings on them, the sixty-six that I have will probably be fine, but since I have to buy two boxes of lids to get me to the right amount, I’m just going to buy the ones that come with the rings to increase the amount of rings I have.

I was really shocked by how many jelly jars I have in there, considering I rarely make anything in that size. But I’m guessing I can find a way to put them to use this year! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start trolling the interwebs for sales and coupons!

All The Pretty Things… AKA New Canning Equipment!

Call it luck. Call it a splurge. Call it an early Mother’s Day gift. Call it what ever you will – I’ve got a new little present on the way to my doorstep!

It might look like an ordinary canning rack, but don’t be fooled. It’s a mini canning rack – which is absolutely perfect for small batch preserving. It holds either four pint or two quart jars and fits into a standard stock pot. So it’ll be perfect for a small batch of jam, or a few quarts of pickles or what have you. I’m pretty excited about this little beauty – I could feasibly whip up a quick, small batch of something on a weeknight after work! Or have it going at the same time as the larger canner to expand how many jars I can process in one go. I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can try it out – my first preserves might be red wine jelly or beer mustard from this year’s Can Plan.

And I haven’t purchased this yet, and it’s not strictly for canning, but I came across it the other day while browsing the interwebs for canning supplies and I just fell in love with it –

It’s a flower frog that screws onto any standard mason jar. How beautiful would that look in the dining table, full of wispy spring flowers? Next time I need a little pick me up, I’m going to snap up one of these. With my mason jar pencil cups, soap dispensers, and chalkboard storage jars, this flower vase would be right at home.