Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beans and Salsa

 I've decided to make up with an old friend---my pressure cooker.  I am canning some dry beans.
I decided to post on my blog while I am babysitting my canner.  It has been a long time since I posted.  SHAME!
 I bought this canner 31 years ago.  My sister, Paula and I decided to make some salsa, because our Mom and Dad were going on vacation, and with a large garden, they had an excess of tomatoes and peppers and our mother suggested we try our hand at canning some salsa.  She forgot to tell us to use gloves when we were cutting up the hot jalapeno peppers, so we didn't.   About the time we were ready to put the salsa into jars and can them, intense PAIN begin.  We had to finish the job, so we fixed bowls of ice water to put our hands in every few seconds---it was terrible.  We finished the job then she went home to nurse her wounds.  The pain lasted for Four. Long. Stinking. Hours.  I laid on the couch with my hands in ice water.  I haven't used my canner since. I have made lots of jelly, apple butter, and some water bath salsa.  We had our last baby a couple years after that episode, and I just lost interest in canning.  I have been reading peoples blogs about canning dry beans and I had to give it a try, so we dug it out of the attic yesterday afternoon.
My hubby loves beans and salsa.  So here we go.  There are 54 minutes left to pressure them, and a heard a loud crack about 20 minutes ago--I'm hoping it was just the canner popping and not a jar cracking--so far I don't smell any burnt beans smell, which is a smell I am well acquainted with.  I have let my beans boil dry on more than one occasion.  One time it took 3 days to get the smell out of our house.  I get side tracked pretty easily.  I am a little nervous about that crack I heard though.  
It's just a vinegar smell coming out of the rocker weight vent--I'm hopeful.  The pressure gauge stays steady at 15 pounds with my large burner set on 4.5.  (I added that so I will know next time.)  I am maintaining 15 lb. pressure for 90 minutes.  I poured boiling filtered water over 1/2 cup of rinced dry beans, and added 1/2 tsp. canning salt, with 1" of head space--that's also for next time.  With the 2 quarts of water in the canner, I added 2 Tbs.white vinegar so my jars would come out clean.  I will let you know how it turned out on my next post.

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