While I was in the throes of Peach Week, I found myself avoiding canning them even though that’s my preferred way to preserve peaches. The massive time commitment canning requires limited me to doing it on Saturday – all day long – rather than for a couple hours after work like I can do with dehydrating and freezing.
I function so much better with small batches / small projects. There is nothing small about canning. There’s a lot of water, a lot of equipment, a lot of cleaning involved. For canning to become a viable activity for me again, it would have to become a lot simpler.
Ten or so years ago Ball came out with an automatic jam maker. For a mere $250.00 you could have yet another appliance on your countertop to make 4 half-pint jars of jam or jelly. At the time I thought it was laughable.
I still think it’s ridiculous but the thought stuck in my brain and I got to thinking, “It’s been awhile. I wonder if they’ve figured out how to make an electric canner?”
Sure enough, for a mere $290.00 you can have a Ball Water Bath Canner with an 8 pint (7 quart) capacity. Well, that’s a nasty price. I kept looking.
I found the Nesco NPC-9 Smart Pressure Canner. I researched the features and the safety. It does both pressure canning and water bath canning. The price was $130.00. It looked promising! I was conflicted. I thought, “Maybe I’ll get it someday,” and “I don’t need another countertop appliance,” and “I do not need to be spending $130 when I have perfectly good canning equipment already.” I compromised and added it to my Amazon Wish List where things generally sit for years and then, usually, get deleted.
Not so this time. The next time I looked, it was $50 off! Apparently, this was enough for my resistance to fly out the window. With a few clicks, I bought it!
Note that this is a Pressure Canner, not a Pressure Cooker. Pressure Cookers are not to be used for pressure canning.
True to form with new things, when it arrived, the box sat in the living room for a week. Then it sat on my counter for a week. Eventually, though, I got to my “this is ridiculous” stage, when I’m avoiding doing something that is unfamiliar. To force me into action, I went to the Piedmont Farmer’s Market this past Saturday to find something to process in my fancy new gadget.
There were lots of peaches. So many peaches. As much as I love canned peaches, though, enough time has not passed since Peach Week for me to not feel a little bit repulsed by them. I came home with plums, green beans, and potatoes.
Let the fun begin!