Christmas in July

If you've ever seen my Amazon Wish List at the bottom right corner of my blog then you know the Presto 23 quart canner is one item I've wanted for quite some time. Well, the wait is over! I finally got the canner of my dreams; however, I opted for the 16 quart instead of the massive 23 quart, because 1) I really didn't need one that does 9 quart jars at a time, and 2) I don't have a space that big to store it when I'm not using it. The one I bought will also serve as a hot water-bath canner and will replace my old pressure-cooker that bit the dust a few months ago. I'm a little nervous about canning.... I'm not scared of the canner, because I'm very familiar with one of those, but I want to get it right so my precious veggies don't spoil. I remember my mother canning all summer when I was younger, but in later years she and I started freezing all our vegetables. At the same time, I'm really excited about the whole process.... I can't wait to get started!! Now I can mark this off my Wish List! (squeal)

Isn't she a beauty? Thank you, Hubby.

By the way... we finally got rain!!! Praise the Lord! Friday, Saturday and Sunday we got some really good soaking rains... everything is green again!

Here's what else has been going on around here lately:

Some updated photos of the "Pouthouse Takeover"- (click to enlarge these... her expression almost looks like the "Little Terrorist"! Yeek!)

Blackberries are almost ready! Doesn't this picture make your mouth water?

This is one row of peanut beans, ready to be canned! Only 3 more rows to go....

Did I mention each row is about 100 feet long? So... that means 300 more feet of beans to pick....

If you need me, I'll be in the garden.


  1. I love the canner! And I said I was going to try and can veggies (and salsa!) this year but I'm travelling a lot, so we'll see how that goes.

    I'm so glad you finally got rain! And the blackberries look fabulous! I always thought they looked better than they tasted, even though I eat them still.

  2. Congrats on the canner. It looks great.
    We got rain, too....very happy to hear it coming down the other night.
    The blackberries and beans look good!
    Such a wonderful time of the year!

  3. Hi Paula, love your canner. I have not tried canning yet, but I will someday. Glad to hear you got rain and I love the looks of those berries and beans!
    Also, love the look of that take over mommy bird....Is there still only eggs or have they hatched?
    She will become a terrorist when they hatch!
    Love, Ann

  4. How fabulously wonderful!

    I am so very happy for you!

    It sounds like things are going well for you.

    All that work will be so worth it!


  5. I know you will enjoy the canner, we have one and its so easy to use...that will be a lot of beans to can though..phew!
    Your berries look good, we've been enjoying ours for about a week but we don't have many plants...we are enjoying nectarines, yummy!

  6. Happy you got the canner. I know you'll put it to good use!

  7. I'm so happy for you to get your new canner. I bought my first pressure canner at a garage sale from an old lady. It was about 4 years old, and I paid $26 for it. She looked very sternly at me and said, "You take care of this canner. It's a good one." I felt like she thought I'd just abuse it or not use it or something. I assured her that I would take good care of it and I really would use it, and I have. Hugs, Kathi Your black berries and beans look wonderful.

  8. What a neat thing to get! You'll be eating good all winter. :-)

    The pics of the wren are adorable! I'm always a sucker for bird pictures. I haven't picked fresh blackberries in years. Those look delicious. I'm thinking cobbler and homemade ice-cream. ;-)

  9. Hooray for rain!
    Glad you got a canner... I'm afraid of mine. Maybe someday my mother will come by and show me how to use her hand-me-downs? Ha!

  10. Glad you got some rain, we haven't yet. Your canner looks great...I haven't got one yet, too scared of it. The only two things I'm scared of are a pressure cooker and snakes! I can't run from either one fast enough!

  11. I've never canned anything but have seriously ben thinking of giving it a try. I make slasa and canning it would be a great way to have to year round.

    Love the momma pic. Wait til her babie hatch and then she''l really be a terrorist.

  12. Beautiful canner! Woo Hoo for wishes fulfilled. I loved canning - just haven't had time during recent summers to actually grow a good enough garden to be worth canning! Mouth watering right now - my mom used to stick whole peeled garlic cloves and other goodies in various veggies so they didn't all taste "the same" (they all tasted fantastic but she did a LOT of canning). Yummmy - love the little bird - you are right about her expression - terrorist in the making.Bless you and your harvest -

  13. Hurray for your canner! I have never used a canner, I have always froze my vegetables, however, I have canned apples because they are easy to can without a canner. I just love the litte wal-mart bird! Your blackberries look wonderful!Have yourself a wonderful holiday weekend! blessings, Kathleen

  14. We don't have blackberries and yours look delicious! Our blueberries and figs are coming in now and the birds in our backyard are having a field day. Unfortunately I don't can or cook.

  15. I'm so impressed that you're so excited about canning. Man, that just doesn't interest me AT ALL!! I wish it did because we have a HUGE garden space and I'd like to be a little more "home grown," but first I need to adjust my attitude and quit thinking about it all as extra WORK!

    So glad to hear you finally got some rain ~ it gets a little worrisome when you go for weeks and weeks without. And those blackberries DO look delicious!

  16. Yea for rain! Sprinklers just don't quite get the job done.

    Your canner is great! THat reminds me that I was going to make grape jelly this afternoon. I wish I could send you some. You probably make your own.

    Peanut beans?

  17. With that canner and and all your wonderful harvest it looks like you are going to have a bountiful and nutritious pantry!

  18. WOW-DE JA VOUS!! That is exactly like mine! Mine was a gift from my Mom. They are wonderful. You just have to remember to wipe the tops of the jars and don't overfill them. You will do great and canned is much better than frozen with the exception of corn and berries. We love the sunshine in a jar!!! And the knowledge of exactly what is in the jars! Congratulations on having a wish come true. :)

  19. What a wonderful big garden! I remember my grandma using her pressure canner- that little thing-a-ma-jig that sizzled when it started steaming-whoa- that was enough for me! I got out of the kitchen!I'll never forget how good her food tasted, though, so canning is great. I use a hot water bath, but maybe your way is better-gotta read up on it. Debra
    P.S. Love that Belle chicken! What a hair-do!

  20. So does the 16 quart hold 7 jars? My mom's holds 7 and it weighs a ton when filled. Will you can inside or out? My papa used to can hundreds of green beans every year, and he used a gas camp cook stove on the back porch to do his canning. No air conditioning in the house, so outside was much better.
    Enjoy your new gift, my birthday is this month and my husband brought in his pneumatic nailer to help me with an upholstery project, and i need one for my birthday, I want a pneumatic stapler. Well, we will see.
    have a great day!

  21. What an adorable bird in her little nest, and how brave she is.
    How fun you have your dream canner.
    And thanks for your comment on my kitty Big Boy's photo.
    You captured my thoughts more perfectly than anyone: how can a cat look and be so comfy when he is sleeping in such an odd position?
    That is for cats to know, and we humans to ponder.

  22. I'm doing a happy dance for you! That is wonderful. And those blackberries look wonderful. I've been picking every morning for jam and cobblers. Does life get sweeter?


  23. Ok, where shall I start?!
    How lucky you are to have that sweet little bird nesting there!
    I Love that you gave your pretty little chicken a "hair" cut!
    And 3rd, the video of the chickens and your dog eating Cheetos, PRICELESS!
    Sandra Evertson

  24. You'll have so much fun with that canner! My old canner has been rehomed because I can't order seals for it any longer. On my wish list is the very same canner that you have in that picture. Sigh.

    It's strange to be happy and jealous at the same time. :)



  25. That is awesome about the canner! I have one that looks similar!!! :)

    I also love your blackberries! We have a bunch of blackberry bushes out along the line of woods in the back of our yard!!! We have sold them before..but this year, i think i may make blackberry jam! :)

    :) i hope you have a great rest of the week!

  26. YUM! Sounds like some good food is coming your way!

    That little bird is darling! So cute.

    I'm going to make blackberry jam. I've never made it before. Have you? If so, any tips. I would like to make it seedless but I don't know how many berries I would have to have to do that. Do you strain them before or after you cook them.

  27. Congrats on the new canner- she looks like a beauty! The raspberries need just a few more days here, but we have gotten quarts of strawberries from our friend. They had a very good year as we have had tons of rain! I wished on many occassions that I could send it your way and enjoy a sunny afternoon for a change!
    Got my little chicks. So cute. My little sweetie is an Aracauna that we named Corrie.
    Happy Fourth!

  28. Oh, Wow!
    How exciting that you know how to can and even to freeze vegetables and fruits!!!! How blessed you were to have a mother to show you how to do those things!

    Blackberries!!!! My favorite!!!!
    Our poor little blackberry bushes really need to be put in the ground -- we're waiting for the move.

    Green beans.....yum.....

    Now, I'm hungry, again!

  29. One step closer and mama wren will open up a can of...well, you know!

  30. Wow! So many comments! Your eyes must be tired from reading them all! hahaha
    I LOVE the idea of canning, but have absolutely NO experience with it. I do want to learn tho. I have no vegetable garden space here on my little postage stamp sized property. But i do have a farmer friend down the road i get fresh tomatoes from, and i buy from a few of the Farmer's Markets here. Last year i ate so many tomatoes it is a miracle my skin didn't change to bright orange!I took some of the tomatoes and chopped them up with some of my own fresh basil and froze them in zip lock bags. I can still remember how GOOD that sauce tasted when i took those tomatoes out to cook up in January, when everything else was frozen solid. This year i want to do more! Oiy! I need a bigger freezer!

  31. Hey there Paula, That is where I have been too, in the garden.
    I just got out my pressure canner and hope to fire it up tomorrow. I finally have green beans to can.
    Good luck on your canning and gardening. We had a shower(about an inch) yesterday.The first one in weeks.
    I have to head back out to the garden now.
    Have a good week.

  32. Oh my goodness! How in the world do you find time to do it all?! I can barely get dinner on the table, where as you grow it, gather it, can it, cook it and then finally eat it. Good for you!!
    And Congrats on that beautiful canner. What a great DH!
    Patricia :o)

  33. Wow, your new canner is just like mine!! I need to learn a bit more about using it, however...I never had the pressure cooker type before and, like you, don't want to waste precious food!! I just love your blog and your pictures are such fun!!


  34. LOVE the canner!!!!! Wish I could be there with you so I could learn from the pro!!!!!! After my carrot jam ending up on my ceiling, I have felt very intimidated with the idea of trying again!

    So glad you got rain!!!! We had really BIG rains the past few days, which we needed, too!!!!


  35. I'm in awe of anyone that would use a pressure canner! I'm too afraid. You go girl!


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