My garden is producing full force and I have cucumbers and green beans by the bucket full.
Living in a travel trailer is not too condusive to canning and last year I wasted so much fresh produce because of not being able to can anything.
This summer I decided to set up an outdoor canning system. I think even when we are moved into our house (SOON!), I'll still use this set up. It is amazing!
I bought a two burner propane camp stove, put it on our porch and got to work! We always have a steady breeze on the hilltop and with the shade on the porch it is very comfortable temperature wise and creates a great outdoor canning kitchen! These propane burners are a very high BTU output so water boils fast!
The burner had no problem bringing my pressure cooker up to the 10 pounds of pressure that I needed and easily held it steady for the 20 minutes I cooked my jars of green beans.
Seven quarts of perfect green beans!
I set up the cooker close to my picnic table and I used that for my counter top!
Then I proceeded to the pickle making session.
My large water kettle boiled in just a few short minutes and I had my jars sterilized and ready on one burner....
...and my pickles hot and ready in the pot on the other burner.
Pickle jars don't need to be pressurized, so they only had to boil for five minutes in this large kettle. I loved how the water was up to boiling in just a few minutes. I made 9 pints of pickles in no time.
(The above picture is my "can pantry" in my new kitchen. I would really, really love to be able to show you my kitchen, tell you about my lovely cabinets, take some gorgeous pictures and show you around. Unfortunately I am STILL waiting for the cabinet guys to come and finish. I have faith that it will be this week - however, I know I said that last week too.)
My daughter and I have been picking and purchasing fresh fruit for the last month so I have a good start to my pantry now with strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and peach jams!
So.... with an outdoor canning "kitchen" on the brain, I've been doing a lot of surfing around the blog world and pinterest for outdoor set-ups. There are a lot of them out there! Eldon has some good ideas, I have a few good ideas, other experienced outdoor canning people have awesome ideas... its my goal for next summer to put some of these ideas in place and really create a great outdoor canning "kitchen". I'm already on the look-out for an old farmhouse sink.
What are your thoughts on the subject?