This may be a little dramatic, but I am seriously scared of my pressure cooker. When ever I dream of pressure canning, all I can think about is my pressure cooker exploding and impaling me with a shard of metal. I asked my friend Heather, from Like a Cup of Tea, if she had a good recipe for canning tomatoes. She said that pressure cooking is probably a better route than the water bath method (by the way, the water bath would have been a less terrifying route to take…at least for me).
Part of the issue here were the vague directions that the pressure cooker came with. It told me to listen for a ‘jiggle’. For pressure canning the ‘jiggle’ should occur 3-4 times a minute. What the heck does a ‘jiggle’ sound like?!
Here’s the thing. I totally could have done the water bath thing. I could have ignored the advice and just done what I am more comfortable with doing. However, I don’t want anyone to die from botulism after eating these tomatoes.
I loaded up the pressure cooker. Turned the heat on and took my spot behind a door, a considerable distance from the pressure cooker. There I stood for an hour as the pressure cooker made all sorts of weird sounds. Then it made a loud THUMP! and with that, I turned the stove off and let the blasted device cool down.
I feel like I really dodged a bullet with the pressure cooker. I’m not sure what the THUMP! was, but I’m glad I didn’t allow it to continue.
Ahhh…canned garden tomatoes to be used in the dead of winter.
(Note: My husband grew up doing this type of thing, so he just laughed at me. Even though the pressure thing didn’t ‘jiggle’ all of the lids (minus one, which is sitting in our refrigerator) were set and my husband assured me that, that was good enough.)