Happenstance: Farm girl

By Julie Dickerson
Just recently, I did something new.
Last Christmas, I bought an Insta-Pot. This new-fangled kitchen appliance can do just about anything. And, by the way, I am still learning all of its features.
Recently, I had an overabundance of peaches, pears and tomatoes. And, the Insta-Pot had a canning button.
So, I thought I would give it a try.
Luckily, I had some canning lids on hand because they are very hard to find. But, I had to wait to get pint-sized jars. I had to order them online because there were none to be found in Albion.
The Insta-Pot only has room enough for pint-sized jars.
The peaches needed to be taken care of. So, I opted to freeze what we couldn’t eat. I am sure they will be fine in the middle of the winter and we will look forward to peach pie or peach crisp.
The jars arrived.
I had to get the directions out and figure out “how to can.” And, I had to go online and read some canning recipes.
I followed the directions on “how to can pears.” I put them in the jars, added liquid and left one inch at the top as recommended.
The canning jars came with lids that had a built-in button on the top.
I put the first three in the Insta-Pot and had to wait over 30 minutes for the machine to pressurize and get started. Sometimes, I have patience and sometimes I don’t.
It finished, finally!
When I opened the lid, two of the three jars had overflowed in the inner pot. And, those (?!!$) lids were for the birds! One jar worked and sealed. We ate the other two warm jars of pears with ice cream after lunch.
So, after learning the hard way, I got out my box of good old canning lids and rings and did the rest without those other ones that came with the jars.
They all turned out fine and are in the pantry just waiting to be eaten.
I had enough jars left over from the pear debacle to try canning tomatoes. Three jars done and ready for storage. The rest of the tomatoes ended up getting frozen. But, they will work great for stew or chili or casseroles.
I guess the ‘farm girl’ in me just wanted to try canning on her own. My mother used to can when I was growing up, but I don’t remember exactly how it was done and the process. I only remember getting to eat all the goodies she canned.
I am willing to learn new things.
So, maybe strawberry jelly might be the next thing on my list to try in that cute little Insta-Pot.