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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

~ The Cost of a Baby ~

‘How much do babies cost?’ said he
The other night upon my knee;
And then I said: ‘They cost a lot;

 

A lot of watching by a cot,
A lot of sleepless hours and care,
A lot of heartache and despair,
A lot of fear and trying dread,
And sometimes many tears are shed
In payment for our babies small,
But every one is worth it all.

‘For babies people have to pay
A heavy price from day to day-
There is no way to get one cheap.

Why, sometimes when they’re fast asleep
You have to get up in the night
And go and see that they’re all right.

But what they cost in constant care
And worry, does not half compare
With what they bring of joy and bliss…
You’d pay much more for just a kiss.

‘Who buys a baby has to pay
A portion of the bill each day;
He has to give his time and thought
Unto the little one he’s bought …

.
He has to stand a lot of pain
Inside his heart and not complain;
And pay with lonely days and sad
For all the happy hours he’s had.

All this a baby costs, and yet
His smile is worth it all, you bet.’
~ Edgar Albert Guest

January 21, 2021 - 9:08 pm

Monica He is so cute!!

January 18, 2021 - 6:04 pm

Lynnea Precious boy! Beautiful photos! Sweet memories to cherish! ❤️

January 18, 2021 - 4:34 pm

TERESA@ SF Awwww, yes babies and children are priceless. What a handsome little guy he is!

January 18, 2021 - 2:58 pm

Gramma Cardinal Such a handsome boy! He has your hair! x

January 17, 2021 - 11:03 am

Regina Shea What a beautiful poem! I love it and what a sweet baby. I want to come up there and give him a big fat kiss. Those cheeks!

Keep Sunday Special

“People still really value their time together and make use of it.
Sundays are a precious resource and one that needs to be safeguarded and protected.”

-John Ashcroft

 

Do you keep Sunday’s special for your family?

Although stores are now open on Sunday and most have forgotten this day for its Christian roots (and yes, I know Saturday is the Sabbath day, but in North America, Sunday has been reserved for church goings), I have always wanted to preserve the dignity of Sunday for our family.  It has been a challenge for us, as my husband’s workplace is never closed – being a mortician, he is always on call and must go when needed. For years, we struggled with keeping Sunday special and reserved for rest and worship. Thankfully, the Lord is blessing my husband’s choice to stay home on Sunday  for rarely is he called in to work on Sundays over the past few years.

 

“I think it is absolutely crucial that we slow down,
that we don’t keep running at the same speed,
on the same treadmill, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
– Relationships Foundation interview 

 

Sunday.

This is the day we go to church and worship our Lord.

This is the day we spend as a family – sometimes just among ourselves or sometimes with extended family.

This is the day we can invite friends over for fellowship or a hymn sing.

This is also the day we bake a special dessert …

 

Quite a few years ago, I implemented the idea of each girl taking a Sunday to bake something special for the day. Now it is only natural and part of our regular routine to, on Saturday, ensure we have a plan — and a recipe — for Sunday’s dessert.

 

I would say, yes, it is a tradition to have a special dessert prepared for Sunday. It changes the day, slightly, and elevates it to a higher level, especially for those little ones whose eyes light up at that chocolate cake sitting temptingly on the kitchen counter. Awaiting the end of the Sunday meal, everyone knows tea time will come and we will indulge in a lovely sweet treat. Having this wonderful dessert also aids in hospitality: if someone decides to visit or pop by for tea, we have something delicious ready to serve.

Is it fair to say it is one of the highlights for Sunday? Yes, I think that is fair to say.

On this particular Sunday, the girls choose to make peanut butter icing and decorate the cake with chocolate chips and peanuts.

Or try it with walnuts and regular chocolate icing … just as delicious!

 

Since we loved this cake so much, I decided to use it as a prepared mix for the pantry. Today, I am sharing the recipe with you, so you may add it to your pantry and Sunday menu.

Nothing pulls a family — and friends — together like a delicious frosted chocolate cake.

 

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it:
because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Genesis 2:30

 

Chocolate Cake Make Ahead Mix

 

Delicious with Peanut butter frosting/drizzle!

Decorate with peanuts!

 

For the cake mix:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda,
and salt until very well combined. Store in glass jars in your pantry so they are ready to use on Sunday.

To make the cake:

2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup light vegetable oil, such as sunflower or safflower
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

In a large bowl, blend in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Gradually stir in the boiling water until the batter is well-combined. You may bake in whatever shape of pan you wish – I like to use a bundt pan, but this week, we also used a round cake pan.  Bake at 350 until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Frost when cooled!

I will forever keep Sunday’s special – first, for the gathering of the saints.

And second, for the chocolate cake, cooling on the counter.

 

P.S. Make sure to visit on Sunday! The tea is on and the cake is ready!

‘But actually what we are chipping away is family time.
If there is not one day of the week to sit around the table with family,
what kind of a family are you?’
 – Matthew Wright

 

January 15, 2021 - 1:54 pm

Monica I love this! I’ll be on over! 😉

January 12, 2021 - 4:10 pm

Erin Lynn I like how you make Sunday a special day of honoring the Lord, and a day to look forward to for your children!

January 11, 2021 - 9:50 pm

Bethany Looks delicious!

The Simple Life {New Year}

 

 

And suddenly, it is 2021 – a new year.

As the freshy fallen snow lays around us, covering our world in a beautiful blanket of white, this new year is spread before us. Yet, before we embrace the new year, let us thank God for the blessings of the old year … yes, there were painful trials and refinement through fire, but God is still on the throne and He carries us through every chapter of our lives.

Our blessings were wonderful to recount, as we said farewell to 2020 and welcomed the new year of 2021.

 

… our little baby boy, born in March, safely at home … our ninth baby and treasured blessing …

… a husband whose health suddenly shocked us all this year, frightening our family and wondering what the future would hold … but God took care of him and I still thank God, daily, for allowing us another day, another week, another year together…

… nine beautiful blessings that I call my children … blessed beyond measure … my cup overfloweth …

… a safe and secure home in the country where we can raise food and vegetables, grow and gather, explore and create … wonderful memories are made daily …… a simple life that that keeps my hands busy, my heart full and my body healthy …

… the family of God … [you can shut down churches and you can shut down the world —  but you cannot shut down the church family} … a good reminder to stay true to those friends and family who are walking that Straight and Narrow Pathway.

Happy New Year, friends.

Remember … God is still on the Throne.

 

 

“Here is a good New Year’s resolution for us all to make:
To simplify our lives as much as possible,
to overcome that feeling of haste by remembering that there are just as many hours in the day as ever,
and that there is time enough for the things that matter if time is rightly used.
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
January 12, 2021 - 4:28 pm

Lynnea It is such a blessing, Gigi, to see and know that you and your family are all doing well. This picture is beautiful with all the sweetness, cheerfulness, and brightness!
God is so GOOD!
That quote by Laura I. Wilder is a good reminder… of things I want to aspire to each day!

January 9, 2021 - 6:57 pm

Wendy I enjoy reading about your family adventures. I was a homeschooling mother for years & am now a full-time 3rd grade teacher. It is a blessing to know that there are families out there that desire to parent with wisdom & raise up Godly children.

January 9, 2021 - 1:05 am

TERESA@ SF Lovely post ~ thankful your husband is on the mends. I am also grateful for all His many blessings! May the church roll on in our hearts! God is so good and He will go before us and keep us in His hands. Hugs to you!!!

January 8, 2021 - 4:53 pm

Erin Lynn I am so sorry your husband has not been well. Praying for his health and for blessings on all of your beautiful family.

January 8, 2021 - 1:07 pm

Ruthie Gigi,it’s been wonderful to rejoice with your family at the birth of your 9th and to learn from you as you share willingly of your love for the Lord and all things to support home. I’m sad to learn of your husband’s health scare and am praying. We know what that’s like and can relate to what you’re going through. Thankyou for the encouragement you bring to us all.❤

January 5, 2021 - 10:23 pm

Brenda Clair (Gigi’s Mom) We all have so many blessings to be thankful for. And you and your precious family are one that I am so grateful for. Love you xoxo

January 5, 2021 - 6:14 pm

Michelle I am sorry to hear of your husbands health scare, but praise the Lord you all have made it through this trying time! I hope things are better!! Thank you for this post, again my heart’s desire is to have a more simpler life for me and my family. So much hustle and bustle in the world, especially with the technology world. It seems to be taking over! It would do me good to be more simple. Thank you and take care Gigi, you and your family!! May God continue to bless you and use you in a great way!!

January 5, 2021 - 2:33 pm

Gigi No, Sam, I did not post anything about it. I found it very challenging to work through – some things are just hard. Right? I hope you are doing well in your motherhood journey! Happy New Year to you, too!

January 5, 2021 - 11:10 am

Sam Hi Gigi,
I am sorry to hear your husband had a health scare this year. Did you post about it? I didn’t hear anything. Hoping all is well now 🙂 Happy New Year!

Solitary as {Eagle-Men}

The one who will fly, as an eagle does,
into the higher levels where cloudless sky abides,
and live in the sunshine of God,
must be content to live a comparatively lonely life.”
– Streams in the Desert

 

 

 

 

 

The air was still as the day began to fade ever so gently beneath the far, distant treeline of majestic maples, birch and walnut trees.

A golden-pinkish glow spread across the slumbering field. Stepping out from our warm kitchen to gather some carrots from our back patio – stored there for a short time this winter – I looked across the quiet field and noticed my 10 year old daughter, wandering through the stillness. Over the quietness of the early evening, I could hear her beautiful, childlike voice, singing a happy tune as her chilled hands brushed against the dry stalks of grass. The wind gently whistled through the naked branches of the tree, seemingly accompanying her in whistful tones.

Childhood at it’s finest … I thought, as I gathered up a bowl full of stubby carrots. So lovely …

Watching her cross the field, it was so glorious and peaceful … it brought me back to my own childhood where I spent hours wandering the fields, watching field mice, spending time alone and reading my favourite books, nestled in a cove of  dried grasses. Often, I would stop and daydream at my favorite rock — a large boulder, which I fondly named “Dew Drop” in the middle of the field. For obvious reasons, the large grey rock was too monumental for the farmer to move– thus, I found it a pretty little spot to, alone and away from my family,  stop and sing hymns and songs as a praise to God.  One particular warm Autumn afternoon, as I was singing in the field, I was startled to hear movement in the grasses. Looking towards the back of the field, I spotted a beautiful, grey-ish deer, approaching me. She eyed me cautioysly as I watched her graceful movements, and yet, she did not appear afraid – I often wondered why my singing did not startle her and cause her to run before I even noticed her. Her creature visit was a little gift from God, I felt, as I watched the beautiful deer eventually bound away without fright or fear.

 

Now, years later, I can see my own children following in my footsteps into the fields of imagination, quiet and stillness. We all need such quiet in our lives – especially in a busy large-family household — and in this very noisy world.

Chilled but encouraged by the vision of my daughter, I returned to the kitchen to finish preparing our evening meal. A few minuets later, breathless, with pink flushed cheeks and her dirty blonde hair tousled from the December wind, my 10 year old rushed through the back door of our farm house.

 

 

 

“Mommy! I was walking home and singing … and I looked up and there was a bald eagle flying right over my head!” she exclaimed. Her brown eyes were sparkling and her sweet mouth was turned into a spreading joyous smile.

“It flew right over me!” she gushed.

 

Sharing in her joy, I inquired about the eagle … was it young or old? … which direction was it flying? … and as she chattered with excitement, my thoughts returned to my morning devotions …

 

 

“No bird is as solitary as the eagle.
Eagles never fly in flocks; one, or at most two, ever being seen at once.
But the life that is lived unto God,
however it forfeits human companionships, knows divine fellowship.
God seeks eagle-men.
No man ever comes into the realization of the best things of God,
who does not, upon the Godward side of his life,
learn to walk alone with God.

Let God isolate us.
God knows how to change the circumstance
in order to give us an isolating experience.
We yield to God and He takes us through something,
and when it is over, those about us, who are no less loved than before,
are no longer depended upon.
We must dare to be alone.”
– Streams of the Desert

 

 

How good and gentle our Lord is … reminding me, ever so patiently, to be still, quiet and alone … in serving Him, we will find ourselves isolated, sometimes the only one – so it seems – to be walking this particular path. However, being separate and removed from the fuss and noise of the world can be used for good– it can bring us closer and fully reliant on Him.


As my daughter rushed off to tell her siblings of her beautiful sighting, I remained alone, in that warm, cozy-smelling kitchen, and whispered up my thanks to the Gentle Shepherd who so lovingly cares.

Lord, Let me be isolated — in you.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

 

December 30, 2020 - 6:02 pm

Brenda (Gillian’s Momma) This gave me goosebumps, Gillian xo

December 30, 2020 - 9:02 am

Gigi Teresa, yes, I have heard of that and have tried it myself. I cannot do all our flour/oats, etc. however, as our product amount is so much! If I had a smaller family, I think I would be more prone to do so – right now, I store all those dry goods in big food-safe buckets. But yes, it makes perfect sense to dry can such goods!

December 29, 2020 - 5:27 pm

TERESA@ SF Gigi, Absolutely beautiful! Your words has such a peaceful tone to them. I wasn’t able to comment on the last post, but I wanted to share with you what kind of canning I love doing in the winter. It is called dry canning. I dry can flour, rice, oats, pasta, coffee, cocoa and so on. Anything that has 10% or less of moister in it.
Have you heard of this?

Hugs! Teresa

December 26, 2020 - 7:34 pm

Gigi Lynnea, my heart is encouraged to know this little note spoke to you during your life walk. Yes, far too often, it can feel so lonely to be isolated from the world or even from other Christians who may be walking a different pathway, and yet, we are to find our joy and rest and strength in Him. We are never alone and for that, I am truly thankful. I will be praying for you, Lynnea. ((hugs))

December 26, 2020 - 7:19 pm

Lynnea Thank you so much for sharing this ~ it is just what I needed.

“How good and gentle our Lord is … reminding me, ever so patiently, to be still, quiet and alone … in serving Him, we will find ourselves isolated, sometimes the only one – so it seems – to be walking this particular path. However, being separate and removed from the fuss and noise of the world can be used for good– it can bring us closer and fully reliant on Him.”

~ I love everything about this post ~ it touched my heart with comfort, joy, peace, and hope. For over three years now, I have been in the very place you speak of in the words written above…and they are a comforting reminder that I am not alone on this path, even though it is a different, “particular” path for me.

~ I love all the quotes you shared, as well as reading about the joyful, awesome experience of your daughter’s encounter with the lone eagle and the wonder of it all, as captured in the beautiful photos.

My heart also prays…”Lord, Let me be isolated ~ in You”.
With love, in Christ Jesus ~ Lynnea

Pressure Canning: A Think Ahead Lifestyle

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer,
and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
~ Proverbs 6:6-8

 

In recent weeks, I have been asked quite a few questions about pressure canning. I suppose this past year of 2020 has had everyone thinking a little differently about their lifestyle of eating.

Is it simple to pop into the car and drive to the grocery store and buy what you need? Absolutely.
But when your life is suddenly halted and you are unable to go anywhere as easily, you will thank yourself for your thinking ahead lifestyle.

While, normally, December  is not the peak season of canning, this year is different for all of us in many different ways. Those who were teetering on the brink of “wanting” to learn to can have jumped into the pot, so to speak, and have just begun. I have a dear young friend who, at the beginning of the summer, rushed out to the local farm store and purchased her first pressure canner. With a baby on hip and a toddler underfoot, she quickly learned how to pressure can all her meats needed for the winter. She did not hesitate to learn a new skill of preserving her food. I was so proud of her!

Now, after an unsteady year across the globe, many housewives interested in pressure canning once again. Some have started canning this year for the first time. Others, still have not begun as they unsure where to begin – they are researching and and asking questions. Wherever you stand, I think we can all see it’s time, ladies! It’s time to return to the lost art of home preserving.

Not only is it prudent …  it’s fun. Yes, I consider canning an enjoyable pastime!  It’s a good thing, too, since my family benefits from all our canning as we eat out of our Provision Room all winter long.

https://www.almanac.com/sites/default/files/users/AlmanacStaffArchive/canning-poster_0.png

– “Take Care of Pressure Canners”, USDA, 1945.

 

This was my first pressure canner – it worked just fine, with the exception that, after a few years of using it regularly, I needed to replace the rubber ring that needs to go around the lid.

I decided to upgrade to a larger canner for a few reasons – our family had grown and grown 🙂 and also, my sweet aunt, who is a very well-versed woman in the area of food preservation, sang the praises of this pressure canner for years. Trusting her sound advice, I placed an order the All American Pressure canner. I have not regretted it for one moment!

I will say that I LOVE my pressure canner.

It works well, it’s a beast and heavy and works straight through the summer and fall. It is amazing and I love it. I love that I can stack two tiers of soups or stews inside the canner.

 

Here is a website for those in the United States. You can also purchase straight from the All American website. (Sadly, there are so many orders, you will not receive your pressure canner until this coming spring! That is a long wait! At least you can do your research now and get ready for this coming year. I would still place an order for a pressure canner, if you are able, and get on the waiting list.)

For those in Canada, here is a website to purchase from. Unfortunately, with the rush on those learning to can food this year, they are back-ordered, but you can place your name on a waiting list! I actually purchased mine from walmart.ca but it is no longer listed there. Here is one available right now– this is similar to the brand and version I started with. It is smaller than my current pressure canner, but if you have a smaller family (whereas we are at 11 people in our family), perhaps it would suit your needs. If you cannot wait for the All American canner, which is not available until next year, maybe this is a good second option — again, for smaller families. I found nothing wrong with this canner; it was easy to use and operate; however, over time, I needed to move to a larger size. So if you are looking to pressure can this winter, why not try this version?

Let’s get straight to the details of pressure canning. We are not talking about water bath canning – this is only pressure canning. We are also NOT talking about pressure COOKING. That is completely different and not the same. Do not use a pressure cooker for your pressure canner.

In order to join me in the pressure canning experience, you will need:

 

~ your pressure canner
~ mason jars (approved for canning)
~ new lids
~ rings

 

 

and your soup or food of choice!

You will need to pressure can:
– soups and stews
– anything with meat
– green beans
-chick peas, kidney beans
– carrots
– broth
– corn
– low acid foods

 

Here is a handy reference chart from the University of Minnesota Extension:

 

Reference chart: pressure canning low-acid foods

Type of food Style of pack Jar size Head space Process time (minutes) Dial gauge (PSI) Weighted gauge (PSI)
Asparagus Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 30 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Beans – lima (fresh) shelled Hot and raw Pints Small beans – 1 inch small 40 11# 15#
Quarts Small beans – 1 ½ inch 50 11# 15#
Pints Large beans – 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Quarts Large beans – 1 ¼ inch 50 11# 15#
Beans – green and wax Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 20 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 25 11# 15#
Beets Hot Pints 1 inch 30 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 35 11# 15#
Carrots Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 25 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 30 11# 15#
Corn (cream style) Hot Pints 1 inch 85 11# 15#
Corn (whole kernel) Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 55 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 85 11# 15#
Peas (fresh green) Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Peppers Peeled Half pints 1 inch 35 11# 15#
Pints 1 inch 35 11# 15#
Potatoes (white, cubed or whole) Hot Pints 1 inch 35 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Pumpkin and winter squash (cubed) Hot Pints 1 inch 55 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 90 11# 15#
Spinach and other greens Hot Pints 1 inch 70 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 90 11# 15#
Soups (vegetable, dried beans/pea, meat, poultry-NO seafood) Hot Pints 1 inch 60 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 75 11# 15#
Meat (ground or chopped) Hot Pints 1 inch 75 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 90 11# 15#
Meat (strips, cubes or chunks) Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 75 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 90 11# 15#
Poultry (without bones) Hot and raw Pints 1¼ inches 75 11# 15#
Quarts 1¼ inches 90 11# 15#
Poultry (with bones) Hot and raw Pints 1¼ inches 65 11# 15#
Quarts 1¼ inches 75 11# 15#

 

Now, do not let that chart scare you away from pressure canning. Basically, you just find the food you want to can (for example … carrots?) and look at the chart. If you have a weighted pressure canner (which I do), you use the appropriate weight for your altitude. If you have a steam pressure canner, you read the directions for your steam stream (I can help you with that – email me if you have questions) and can for the listed amount of time.

A note on thinking ahead:

In the past, I was able to buy packs and packs of new lids at the local dollar store. I no longer visit the dollar store as much and have ordered lids online. This year, I purchased a couple hundred lids online and never even thought once about not having enough lids. Currently, there is, however, a high demand on lids, I have noticed. If you are need canning lids, it is best to think ahead and purchase when you can this year and coming into the summer time of preserving. There may be a shortage this coming summer. Think ahead!

 

Start stocking up on jars, as well. You will be surprised at how many jars you will need!

Have you started collecting mason jars? I hope so! Those are in high demand right now, as well. For the past few years, I have not had to buy any jars, which is wonderful. Sometimes, I find I need jam sized jars, as we give those out as gifts and therefore, need to replace our jar stock in that size. However, over the years, people have given me hundreds of mason jars. They are usually the 1 litre size. It is amazing! People just know that I can and put up food so, I suppose, they remember me if they see jars in the thrift store or if they have jars to give away. I have thousands of glass mason jars to be used in my home for preserving food. And preserve food I do! Our Provision Room, a section of our very old basement of our 130 year old home, is home for all our summer and fall efforts of preserving food. It is a crude room with a dirt floor, one light bulb and many spiders. However, it serves a great purpose for our family.

 

If you can locate a pressure canner this yer — and need encouragement to start – leave a reply on this blog post and I will gladly help you with anything you need to know. There are loads of website to help you, but sometimes it is nice to talk to someone in person with your question.

 

Happy Preserving!

 

December 20, 2020 - 5:37 am

Gigi Mrs. Robichaux, that is wonderful! I’d love to see a photo! You can message me at gigigauthier@protonmail.com – that’s so fabulous! We have bees, as well, although only two hives, so we simply eat all our honey and do not sell it. Have a great holiday!

December 19, 2020 - 10:16 pm

Mrs. Robichaux I LOVE your Provision room. I made one of my sons old bedrooms into a canning room. I had shelves built all around the room right before March. It is my favorite room except for the kitchen. I also love to can. It is my favorite thing to do. My mother in law taught me and I am so very grateful! She has since past but she has left me with a great love for canning! We buy jars and lids every chance we get because of my canning and we have honey bees and sell honey as well. I have not thought to have a back up Pressure caner and that is something I should do. I love your blog and I have learned a lot from you.

Have a Merry Christmas!
Mrs. Robichaux

December 19, 2020 - 5:41 am

Gigi All began with you, mom! xo

December 19, 2020 - 5:41 am

Gigi Miriam, a wide variety is lovely! Yes, lids are tricky. Are you in the U.S.?

December 19, 2020 - 5:40 am

Gigi Regina, I can understand being afraid of it – it’s a little menacing looking, isn’t it? Many are afraid of exploding – 🙂 – but as long as you follow the instructions properly, you will be okay. I do remember shoo-ing all children from my kitchen during my first few episodes of pressure canning, just in case.
I would not use my pressure canner for cooking – I have heard of that and I think you can, but I like to reserve my canner for canning and not use it for anything else.

December 19, 2020 - 5:39 am

Gigi Cathy, yes, that is where I get my lids. I think I posted a link before. So handy to have it shipped! I love the sound of your Cellar Store!

December 19, 2020 - 5:33 am

Gigi Hi Sam – great to hear from you! Yes, you re-use the jars forever – which is wonderful — however the lids (not the rings, but just the sealing lids) are a one time use. (You can re-use those used lids in your pantry for things like chocolate chips or flour in mason jars, etc. but not for canning). Yes, you can can meat, however, as mentioned in this post, it MUST be pressure canned. If you follow the guidelines, your meat will be safe. In all my years of canning, we have never met up with a jar that made us sick. If your seal breaks, you will know as the food will grow mould.
Canned items are good for various times – usually you want to eat it within the year or two, but it can last a bit longer for some items. The first year is the best to eat it, in my opinion. Two years is completely useable. 😉
Email me if you would like – gigigauthier@protonmail.com – if you are going to can and have questions! I would love to help.

December 18, 2020 - 5:51 pm

Sam Hi Gigi!
Awesome post! I am really interested in beginning canning but not really sure how it all works. So you reuse the jars over and over but the lids are single use? And I didn’t realize you can meat LOL how do you ensure it’s safe? How long are canned items good for?

December 16, 2020 - 1:37 pm

Cathy I love my pressure canner! I just started getting serious this year but have made so many things! I too have a room in the basement. We call it the “Cellar Store” and we have so many goodies to choose from. We are eating so much healthier now and it tastes so much better than the stores. I realllllllly want an all american as I had to stand around the kitchen all day while making tons of chicken stock and it would have gone so much faster if I had one of these beauties! Also if anyone is interested we have been getting our lids from uline.ca and they are very good. ;D

December 15, 2020 - 5:00 pm

Regina Shea I have an All American canner and I love it though I’ve only used it a few times. It’s my first pressure canner and I even named it Little Bertha. I was afraid of it at first because I was terrified it would explode like that in episode of I Love Lucy when Fred and Ricky tried to cook the chicken in the pressure cooker.
I am wondering though. Can I use my pressure canner for pressure cooking too? In my owner’s manual there are directions for pressure cooking foods but I’ve only used canner for canning.

December 15, 2020 - 3:39 pm

miriam stoltzfoos I love canning! I too consider it enjoyable. We only have 1 child so i don’t have to can as much of anything but I can a wide variety like you. I’m having trouble buying lids this year,though. Am hoping they increase their production by next spring. I love your blog by the way. It’s like reading a little house on the Prairie book.

December 15, 2020 - 10:27 am

Brenda Clair (Gigi’s Mom) Thanks for the tips!! This is a welcome post!! Love Momma xo