My Transcontinental Pressure Canner

Notice anything odd about this photo of my suitcase while I was packing it for a recent trip from Brooklyn to California, and then back to NY followed by Jerusalem via Moscow?

canner-packed

Yes, that large shiny thing in the middle. That’s a pressure canner. A brand, spanking new one. But I already had one in Brooklyn, where my tiny one bedroom can’t really hold too many objects as large as this one.

That’s not why I packed it, though. I packed it because I was about to be on the road for 2 months, with a deadline on a food preservation book at the end of that time. I need my food gear with me while I finish the food pres book.

So I stuffed the canner full of clothes. My suitcase didn’t quite close, but I rigged it with some wire twisted and tied between the zipper pulley tabs. And I took it to CA, and back to NY. It followed me through a brief layover in Moscow, and now it’s here with me in Israel.

Where I just finished canning some fish stock in it (it is no longer a virgin canner). Our favorite fish monger at the souk (market) was happy to give us fish heads and bones for free, and I hate to waste free food.

stock-jars

If you’re still not sure why I had to haul this piece of equipment with me across a continent or three, here’s the deal:

You can safely can fruits, pickles, and tomatoes (with added acid) in a boiling water bath using nothing fancier than a big, deep pot and some canning jars and lids. But to safely can un-pickled vegetables and any animal product, you need a pressure canner.

Of course, there are also other food preservation methods including fermentation that don’t require special equipment. But I’m covering ALL of the food preservation methods for my book - you get why I need my gear with me?

Yeah, you can buy pressure canners here. But I already had an extra one, so it seemed silly to spend the money on a third pressure canner. Anyway, all’s well that ends well: me and my pressure canner are safely here in J-town.

(Warning: Shameless Plug) Want to pre-order my next books?:

Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

Preserving Everything: Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Milk, Meat, and More

4 Comments »

  1. scotchheather said,

    December 18, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

    I never go to the beach without mine. Love it for oysters, clams and tuna.

  2. scotchheather said,

    December 18, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    Well, shoot. Wordpress cut me off. I’ve never flown with one, but it’s getting so darn hard to fly with even an extra piece of luggage these days. But it’s a great idea. Because who wants to buy another canner when you get to your destination? Lovely blog, Leda. Didn’t know you had it. I subscribed. I think.

  3. acmeplant said,

    December 18, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

    You crazy Leda! (but in a good way) I want to know what TSA had to say about that. Anything?

  4. ledameredith said,

    December 19, 2013 @ 4:58 am

    No comment from TSA, but then I didn’t try to take it as a carryon!

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