Monday, July 18, 2011

Look Ma! I didn't blow up the house

Good Morning Everyone!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful, productive weekend.  From the blogs I am reading, it looks like summer is in full swing with drought, and hot and everyone trying to keep everything going.  First its cold now hot, go figure.

Well, with the encouragement from several "mommy" bloggers I have, I took the big step and bought a small 6 qt pressure cooker, and about a week later, I bought a larger 16 qt pressure canner.
They are both Presto brand, and I have used the small 6 qt for several things to ease into using this "scary" equipment, or so I thought.
I did potatoes for potato salad Sunday afternoon, wow, just a few minutes and done!  No heating up the kitchen or anything.   And I DIDN'T BLOW UP THE HOUSE. 
I think that in a earlier blog posting I mentioned that when I was in Jr high, in home ec class, I put a very large commercial canner lid into the ceiling tiles of the school kitchen.  I should mention that it wasn't all me that did it, but a general fear of the canner in general, in which I was the one put into the position of handling it as I was the only one in my class that had any knowledge of canners simply because I helped my grandmother can, but I was not an experienced helpmate, I was just learning too, but you know 13-14 yr old girls, no one wanted to touch it, so I was the sacrificial lamb so to speak, and since then, I have been so terrified of them.  And this school canner was an antiquated one at that, what do you expect in 1973.
I bought the 16 qt canner through Amazon, for 64.76 + the 12.00 shipping.  My Ace Hardware had the same thing for 114.00 without tax which is 7%.  So I did save some money. And Amazon had it here in 5 days  by FedEx so I was pleased.
I am planning here in a few days to fire it up and give it a test run to check pressure, and then I am planning Zucchini, as I have it running out of my ears now, and then sometime next month, I am going to get some of my beef from the processor in a small town about 60 miles from me.  I am just ordering ground beef, and meats I can use for stew and soup and a few briskets, and that is about all I use.  I am not a big steak fan, I usually grill small steaks on the Holidays and birthdays, but that is as far as I go with beef.  I really do not need a whole beef or half beef, but feel I buy what I use and I don't waste anything.  And I am going to can a lot of this beef for Mexican cooking and stews and such.  I don't have a lot of freezer space but I will put some in the freezer and can the rest.
I will be making taco/enchilada fillings mostly, and some seasoned ground beef for some other recipes, and then seasoned stew beef for soups and stews.

The garden is doing ok, it is so blasted hot now, it hit 99 here yesterday, (Sunday) but the heat index was in the 105 to 108's which is pretty hot for us here,  I know my southern readers get it worse, so I do all of my work in the am, mowing and watering and then I work in the house in the afternoon.  That is about it.
My cucumbers are slow, I am getting a few but nothing major.  I am slowing getting tomatoes but nothing to toot my horn over either, but the plants are really loaded, and so are the cucumbers, so if they do grow, I will have them coming out of my ears also.

Just a recap of the neighbors from hell update,  the one NFH to the north has been kicked out, the NFH to the back of us has been kicked out, but the b**** next to me is still here. Damn!  I am hoping as all of us are, that she will move as her b**** sister who was in the north trailer who is now gone, she will follow her, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.  I will keep you all posted.

Other than just trying to stay above water to pay bills and keep everything going, everything is fine, I quess.  I lost 2 chef clients, as they were having problems too, so my extra money was cut off somewhat.  I am somewhat depressed, with all that has been going on, it seems the budget crisis, and just things at home, just trying to keep a roof over your head, it takes all of your energy, and with it being so hot, it makes it worse.  I keep the tv off quite a bit, as I am so very tired of hearing the political crap you hear, it  just wears you out.  Its the same, day after day.  I am trying to keep my parents calm, as they are so worried about their social security,  I have no answers.  I guess, just stand fast, and damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.

Well, I had better get outside, I need to mow real quick and then water a little and then I am done.  Then I will move in the house and put potato salad and slice some zucchini to get them ready to process in a few days.
I wish everyone a wonderful week, hang in there, and I will post later if I can.

Hugs to all


  1. Dear Denim ~ Glad to hear you lost two of the three neighbors from hell, hope the last one will soon follow.

    I am scared of pressure cookers also. I've never used one in my life either and never saw one doing it's quick cooking either. It sounds like it will be GREAT for you.

    We don't watch TV to see the news but do hear it occasionally on the radio and see it online. I'm sick and tired of all of the promises and lies, and now the thing with SS. Since I'm about to lose my job, we are thinking of starting to collect SS, but are hesitant to do so, so we are still reading and waiting.

    We are eating less meat, more rice and beans, and I'm trying to not stress and just take each day as it comes.

    The heat sure does zap all of us of our energy. I get grumpy as all get out and that's not good at all.

    We are having some rain today with a bit of thunder and lightening. The tropical storm is staying out in the ocean and heading east. Hurray. What rain we are getting is good, but it makes it turn into a jungle down here real fast.

    Wishing you well in all that you do.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. I do think these are very stressful times for the senior generation.

    We had a retired man stand out on a street in front of the SS office with a sign protesting them touching the program! It was l00° that day!

    I keep thinking about getting a small pressure cooker but still haven't. I just bought my canner from WM. It probably isn't the best one available but may last as long as I need it too.

    We all just keep on keeping on. So much of it we have no control over.

  3. Hot and humid here also--its July--never my favorite month! A few overcast days here have helped, not raining so could work in the garden some.
    I canned green beans Thursday [pressure canner] and tomatoes Sunday [water bath canner.] I bought a new Presto pressure canner last year--much lighter metal than the one I owned in the 1980's and a different pressure thingy. The old one had a "jiggler", this one has a gauge. I'm still trying to judge the right burner setting to keep the gauge at accurate pressure. They surely bear watching.
    Most of our tomatoes have succumbed to wilt/blight---will hope for late summer planting to have more for canning.
    It's been a while since I've canned meat--I recall doing some beef and venison in chunks for stew/gravy years ago--it was really good--just a long processing time even with the pressure canner.
    Hang in there--with the garden aND the Social Security, etc--its all we can do. Wish my husband didn't have the news on so much--he talks back to it--I tell him--as if they would CARE if they could HEAR YOU!

  4. Hot and dry here. Nothing from the garden worth canning. I have a small and a large pressure cooker as well. I have one that goes in the microwave but I have never tried it out. I should do that, and then if I don't like how it works, I can get rid of it. In the summer months, I do a lot of cooking in the crockpot and in the toaster oven. I can put them both out on the patio where they don't heat up the inside of the house.

    We know people who are terribly worried about SS, too. I can hardly believe that our country's elderly are going to be hit like this. Worry and stress are hard on old people, so even if it doesn't come to pass, it will have taken a toll on them. I know people who won't be able to eat if they have the cost of their Medicare premiums more than doubled. Just makes me so angry that it's even being considered.

  5. Your garden pics look great. Makes me want to switch to all containers next year. I can't keep up with the weeds in my garden.

    Good job with the canning. With the way things are going, having food put up is going to be so important. I love my Presto.

    I also lost most of my clients, so I sympathize with you. Things are getting tough.

    Looking forward to reading about how your canning turns out.

    Take care my friend.

  6. It sounds like the general problems of all of you in America are similar to the ones here - people suffering from rising prices for food, heating, petrol, and everyone feeling the pinch. Why is it always the elderly - the most vulnerable in our society - who get hit hardest? Because they are as easy target as they are unable to fight back perhaps?

    I was reading in the paper yesterday that now more and more people are having to buy the budget brands, the price of those are shooting up. You just can't win.

    Not too hot here - and it rained on St Swithun's Day, so I guess I know what to expect for August now. I knew that it was summer we had in April!!

    Your garden is being a lot more productive than mine is. I have ONE RUNNER BEAN - just ONE - and that's too small to eat!!! Hardly any courgettes either (3 tiny ones), two small trusses of tomatoes and some peppers and ONE chilli . . . Despite all the hard work. Cold nights and not much sunshine have taken their toll.

  7. Ok I am gong to take the plunge and get a pressure canner. And I am so thrilled you lost 2 out of 3 neighbors from hell. My psycho neighbor just moved away with her drug crazed husband. I just ordered a book titled the Sociopath Next Door after reading about it on two other blogs. My sociopath moved. I'm praying yours does as well.