In preparation to building our new homestead, I’ve been reading Jill Winger’s E-book “Your Custom Homestead“. I had already been enjoying her blog, The Prairie Homestead, so much that I figured her book might be just what we needed to get our ideas in order. And that it has been! With a million ideas coming at us at once, we were feeling equally excited, nervous and overwhelmed. Her 21 steps to building your homestead have really helped us put down on paper what we want to accomplish and set realistic goals for ourselves when it comes to small and big projects.
One of the big issues we were having was finding the right balance between frugality and acquisition. As I’ve talked about before, our goal is to reduce our material possessions by quite a bit. Not only for the sake of our personal space and teaching our kids non-materialistic values, but also because we are actively trying to make a statement about over-consumerism. So every time we need something, our first instinct is to find it used, to re-purpose something we have or to borrow. But sometimes, you just need to invest… and through reading her book we’ve come to grips with the fact that sometimes, you just have to invest in something that is new and of high quality in order to have it work great and last forever!
So, that being said : I’ve ordered my super-duper pressure canner this morning. *does a little happy wiggle dance on her chair*. I had been setting money aside now and wanted to really invest. I had been canning using a water bath technique which, as you know, limits you to high acidity foods and I wanted to start canning low acidity foods as well. Not to mention time savings, energy savings and water savings… After weeks of reading reviews, we chose this model :
From what I’ve read, it’s the biggest size I can fit on a conventional stove top element. With it, I got myself a canning kit (funnel, clamps, etc.) since I was always borrowing my mom’s and I also invested in a few classic canning books and a few more recent ones that really appealed to me :
- Blue Ribbon Preserves : Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalade and more by Linda J. Amendt
- Bernardin Complete book of Home Preserving by Judy Kingry and Lauren Devine
- Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff and Rinne Allen
- Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan
Final step is to replace all my snap lids for BPA-free ones. Bernardin (Our Ball’s here in Canada) has started labeling their BPA-free lids so I’ve decided to go and invest. It’s funny how things don’t always matter as much when it’s just you… but then you have kids! Keeping them safe and happy is our number one priority and their disruption free hormonal development is right up there on the list!
Too all my canning folk and food preservationists out there, I’d love any tips, tricks or recipes you would want to share!