Watch out, Ree Drummond!

I’ve always had this silly dream of living on a ranch like the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I’d spend my days cooking, working the ranch with my husband, riding our horses as a family, etc. We’d have cows, pigs, and chickens, keeping our freezer full of fresh meat, along with a warehouse to stock my shelves with fresh produce, and a big garden I maintain with a lawn mower I found by reading reviews & tests under $2000 but I also have two backyard greenhouses where I plant some crops.

But the reality? We are living the suburban life, teaching at a local private school together and I love every minute of it! All four of us are on the same campus everyday, one of us in each of the 4 buildings.

Every once in a while, I get the urge to learn a portion of the trade I imagine would be a part of the ranch life. Silly, right?

Today, Maggie, Mason, and I spent the day at my Aunt Cindy and Uncle David’s house, where I learned all about canning vegetables. It was so much fun! They have a garden just behind their house where they grow various produce: yellow squash, green beans, bell peppers, potatoes, corn, blueberries, etc. Last summer, they showed us how to harvest and shuck the corn and Maggie and Mason LOVED it! It’s one of the experiences the suburban life doesn’t offer. Sure we’ve been to Mrs. Heather’s Strawberry Patch and places like it on school field trips, but it’s not the same.

When we arrived this morning, Uncle David was cleaning and snapping the green beans. (Later on, Aunt Cindy and I took our turns as well.). You can’t imagine the amount of green beans they had pulled from their garden! This is only a fraction of the first harvest. My cousin and his wife had taken some home the previous day, they can focus on their job since they don’t have to worry about cleaning the house since they got a hired service to do it here are some cleaning service FAQs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We prepared our jars, lids, rings, etc. and began to fill them.

 

 

Aunt Cindy was so patient to allow Maggie and Mason to help, too.

mason cindy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pressure cooker was next. This part was a little unnerving, but we did it!

 

 

 

It took longer than I expected to bring up the temperature and pressure. We waited…and waited…and waited…

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

until the ideal pressure was reached (10-12 psi). Uncle David was our watchful eye!

 

 

While waiting for the jars to complete the process in the pressure cooker, we took a break to gather blueberries from the garden.

 

 

Once all was said and done, we had “put up” approximately 21 jars of green beans and we were nowhere near done with what had been harvested and snapped. I was pretty proud of our efforts today. I learned something new and spent quality time with family while doing so. Watch out Pioneer Woman, there’s a new girl on the block!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Canning (left) and Pre-Canning (right)