New pressure canner
I just started canning with my new pressure canner. I have canned fruit and jellies with my water canner but this is the first time I have ever used a pressure canner or even a pressure cooker. The pressure canner directions say that the weighted control should jiggle gently. But what I got was after it looked like it was going to blow! Steam coming out very fast and strong — I turned it down so that the pressure was more even. Then it would rock every few minutes and blow steam and then settle down. No where in the directions did it state this. I finally went back to your canning book and found that you said a pressure canner would rock gently every few minutes, but neither said blow steam. Every thing I canned sealed nicely — so I hope that I was correct in going forward with the canning. I was so excited to start canning with a a pressure canner and now I am so disappointed!
Don’t despair! You’re just in the learning stage. When the pressure gets up, steam does shoot out and the higher it gets, more shoots out to relieve the pressure, keeping it lower. You did right by turning down the heat so the weight rocked and vented steam from time to time. The steam is what rocks it and because it rocks, steam does shoot out. But when you’ve got the heat right, it only does this several times a minute, not constantly. You’ll relax much more with the second batch. And by the third, you’ll feel like an old pro. Good for you! — Jackie
What kind of preservatives can I use in homemade bread to keep it soft for more than one day. No matter how I wrap it for storage it will dry out in two days.
Stedman, North Carolina
Putting homemade bread in an airtight tin or plastic store bread wrapper usually keeps bread fine for several days for me. To soften bread, put it on a cookie sheet and warm it at 250 degrees in your oven. Wrapping and freezing bread will also help keep it fresh. Just remove from the freezer and warm in the oven for fresh bread. One of the reasons I bake bread is to avoid use of preservatives of any kind and hope these tips will help you enjoy your homemade bread more. — Jackie