Real life does interfere with a good time. It has been smooth sailing until now but the system is starting to break down. It was great to get all that canning and preserving done, but the second time was touch and go all the way. As usual, it was all my fault, but I have really good reasons or excuses depending on how you look at it.
It was the peaches that almost got me into trouble. They have to be pressure canned rather than using a water canner bath process. A pressure canner is the same thing as a pressure cooker just a whole lot bigger. It is made up of a pot, lid, pressure gauge which runs between the lid and pot to seal it and a pressure gauge which sits on Mine is a sixteen-quart size. Pressure cookers and canners can be your best friend or your worst enemy. They cook foods in a short amount of time but give a depth of flavor that would take hours.
So, the peaches were prepared, placed in the jars and then, in the pressure canner. The lid gave me fits by not going on properly and, thus, not sealing. If it won’t seal, it won’t can the fruit. After a lot of fiddling, it finally went on properly or so I thought. It was a rude awakening when the thing blew it’s lid literally. The lid laid in the middle of the kitchen floor after nearly impaling its pointy end that holds the pressure gauge into the floor. The pressure gauge lay nearby. You can’t begin to realize how lucky I was to have this end so well. It could have been a lot worse. There was only a small nick in the floor and nothing was broken. At the time, it seemed like the end of the world.
My peaches weren’t done and after looking at the rubber gasket, I realized that it was the original which meant it was really old. It was Sunday and no one who had replacement parts was open. I know that because after about two and a half hours going to possible places I came home defeated. The lady at Wal-Mart only knew about pressure cookers not canners; the Home Depot employee informed me they would have them this fall because that’s when they were needed since that was when everything was ready for preserving. Wish I’d known that.
The Sears employee offered to let me order a brand new canner and it would be shipped to me free. What she didn’t know is that another customer and I had been chatting about pressure canners. After telling her that mine was more than thirty years old and I was thinking about replacing it, she firmly said, “Mine’s older than that and I wouldn’t replace it. Get the parts. You’ll be a lot happier.” I could kiss that woman. She was so right and just when I needed someone to talk with. At home, I checked my peaches and, luckily, they had had sufficient time to seal up. Yesterday, my new rubber gasket arrived in the mail. You see, I think I really need to do more peaches.