Big purchases – Big steps towards a more self-sufficient life!

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 :

All American Pressure Canner 921 – 21 quarts

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 :

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!


About Yanic A.

Hello to all of you and thank you for stopping by! My name is Yanic. I'm a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of 2 beautifully complex and unique children and a lover of all things inspiring. Having started a personal journey of self discovery when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I've since embraced a daily life of simpler pleasures and gratitude. As we get to know each other, you will know me as a quilter, a gardener, a Tao cultivator, a vegetarian foodie, a true believer in a healthy family life as being the secret to my happiness and hopefully as time goes on, a friend... I will try to share with you my days as they unfold, speaking of my happy successes without censoring my challenges, trying to make this blog a true portrait of the ever-changing path that I have chosen for myself. I'm hoping to find in these pages others to share with and learn from, bringing to light the absolute connection in all things and people, showing this world as being a true community.
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14 Responses to Big purchases – Big steps towards a more self-sufficient life!

  1. I’ll guess you’ll be very glad for this investment. We don’t can but we sure do freeze! Granted, if the grid goes down, our food will thaw… Right now I feel like I’m settin’ in provisions for the winter already!


    • Yanic A. says:

      Same here! There is tons of stuff we freeze like whole fruit, fresh tomatoes, herbs, greens, pesto, etc… But I love the process of canning. Such an old world tradition. It was passed down to me by my mom, from her mom and so on. I remember 6-8 ladies in my mom’s kitchen when I was younger, buying the veggies in bulk, splitting the cost and labor, laughing… the kitchen smelled SO GOOD all through summer and fall. 🙂


  2. sophiezest says:

    Wow, I’m so excited for you! The thought of canning makes me nervous…I’d be worried about the health risks if something goes wrong, but presumably it’s like preserves, and if you stick to some basic rules it’s safe. Good luck!


    • Yanic A. says:

      I’ve been canning pickled goods, sugared jams and jellies and acidic stuff like tomatoes and salsas for years. But I really want to start canning potatoes, beats without the vinegar, beans, peas, corn… Peaches and pears as well. All that, they recommend pressure to make sure there are no bacteria that survive the canning process. What makes me nervous is lacto-fermentation. But I promised myself I was gonna try sauerkraut for the first time this year! 🙂


  3. bweist says:

    I’ve been water bath canning for a few years, and you’re right, things I didn’t sweat when it was just me matter so much more now. Hubby bought me a pressure canner a few years back, but I’ve been a little chicken to use it for anything other than water bath canning! You’ll have to tell me how it goes!


    • Yanic A. says:

      It’s why I bought this one : It’s a metal-on-metal seal with steel screws… It can’t pop! LOL! But yeah, my mom’s first question was : Are you sure it’s safe???

      I’ll be sure and share our first uses.


  4. So exciting!! Funny how things like a pressure canner excite a homesteader 🙂 Have fun!


  5. Lisa says:

    Congrats! I found a pressure canner at a yard sale for $5! I found a manual online on how to use it. I took the gauge to the county extension office and ended up having to get a new one for $20, so it ended up costing me a grand total of $25. It’s got a gasket, but so far it’s in good shape. Thus far I have canned collards, beets and carrots with it. I’ve been meaning to can some dried beans as well, but pressure canning is kind of a pain since we have an electric stove and I have to keep checking the gauge to make sure it stays in the proper range.


    • Yanic A. says:

      Yeah. we have an electric range as well so it will need to be monitored, but honestly, I don’t know if I would feel safe not monitoring it. LOL! I still plan on water bathing things like tomatoes, pickled goods and jams, but the pressure canner was the logical next step. 🙂

      That is quite a steal. I was advised against buying used because you never know how the other person took care of it and the seals and gauges might be defective… but it looks like you got that taken care of! 🙂


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