Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Canning Sweet Potatoes on a Rainy Day or First Time Pressure Cooking at Rivergarth!

I have forgotten how long it has been since the pressure cooker arrived, but I think it has been over a year, and I have been waiting all this time to use it.  The stove was ready too late to save the beans to make green beans and too late for the okra and too late even to can the tomatoes by boiling water bath, but there's one last thing I could preserve from the garden, those crazy sweet potatoes!

After the horror stories I had read of pressure cookers blowing up, I was a little scared.  Although I had read my manual front to back when the cooker first arrived, I read it again, this time circling and underlining the crucial steps, like "vent steam 7 minutes before setting the regulator weight in place."  Yes, I vented 7 minutes, and I was waiting at the exact moment hours later when the pressure dropped to zero and not a second or pressure point after to be sure I got the lid off the cooker before a vacuum seal could form.  It was a lot of work, but I found out that it's not so spooky or hard as the scare stories made it seem.

Aside from using the cooker, I learned how I do NOT want to prep the sweet potatoes next time and how I DO want to prep them.  It is just like canning tomatoes; there's the book way and then there's the way that works in your own kitchen with your own veggies from your own garden, the way Mom taught you.  The eight pints of potatoes turned out just fine, but they are not as pretty as I want them to be.  Next time will be State Fair quality!

 Washing jars, applying a seal to the cooker, locating lids and rings the right size, reading the manual, on and on, lots to do to get started.
 Boiling the sweet potatoes before putting in cans for pressure cooking.  Once they are boiled, the skins slip off.
The final product, cooled, sealed, labeled and ready to be put away in the pantry.  Now they're only one easy step away from being pie filling!


nilraps said...

This isn't your first pressure cooker is it? We have cooked many a meal in the pressure cooker, but your second paragraph sure bring back memories. Alot of work, but it all looks good.

The bits and pieces I can see of the kitchen, it looks like it came out really good.

Morning Angel said...

The All-American 915, one of their smaller ones, but a beast in my kitchen. It has a 15 1/2 qt capacity and a metal-to-metal seal. The old kitchen was too non-functional to employ it properly. That's the main reason for the remodel!