Under Pressure

Right now, there is a sweet, dark haired baby girl resting on my chest after a busy morning bustling about with kitchen chores … the sky outside is grey with the promise of little sunshine … the big, steel pressure canner is simmering on the stove, filled with anticipation of autumn soups that will sustain us during the upcoming {home}school months …



We all could use a little needy baby on our chest to make us slow the day right now.
Amen and amen.

{I always notice how humankind tends to smile and melt a little when a baby comes into the room. I love that God makes babies and children NEED their mothers. I‘m positive I’d just work all the time and not realize it if the Good Father had not have made a family operate in such a manner that children need their parents and parents need to slow down for their children.}





My mind is busily trying to put some order into our lives as we switch into the new school year {our fifth year schooling at home – praise the Lord!} … in between a trillion potty accidents, hanging laundry on the line, tending to cleanups of glitter and glue and unexpected completion of fall fair projects, ordering last minute school books on ebay, wondering whether or not we are doing enough for the Kingdom and if I set the timer for the next batch of peanut butter cookies … my heart is also heavy with several prayer requests …

You, I’m sure, can relate – yes? It may not be the same daily schedule or goals or worries but I bet your mind and heart – and plates – are full, as well.





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Somehow, in between naps and such, Lavender and I have managed to ‘put up’ some soups for the fall.
I know it gets very busy in my personal life once school life starts up … my mother, my sweet mom, inspired me to pressure can soups. So, I think in an effort to procrastinate cleaning out the school supply closet, I decided to pressure can this week.

Yes, pressure can soups.
I’ve *never* pressure canned meat  or soups before – but my mom has,  soooooo ….. thank God Above for Mothers! She gave lot of advice and help during this process.




It actually was not as bad as I thought it would be… truly!

This is not a post about how to pressure can because I am, by no means, an expert – but there are a lot of helpful websites out there that can basically walk you through the experience. or you can text my mom for help (just kidding – I’m not sure she’d appreciate that).

Here’s a few sites to help you get started:

Simply Canning
Pick Your Own
Presto Pressure Canning


The first soup to go into the pressure canner, which was doubled, was Italian Chicken & Tomato soup… the recipe is found here.



The crazy stream of steam escaping and the noise of the weight rocking held the children at bay. Funny enough, I remember, as a little girl,  being afraid of that weird and noisy pressure canner when my mom used to lock herself in the kitchen and whip up a summer’s season full of home canned goodies … now, it’s my turn to try it out…




Pressure canning requires patience – I know you want to slide open that big ol’ lid and admire your precious preserves, but you must wait … wait, wait wait until the safety lock comes off and all the steam has escaped. I usually wait 1/2 an hour – there’s plenty to do in between to keep the time from dragging. Like hold snuggly babies, push the toddler on the swing, watch the big girls swim, feed the ducks, etc. etc.



And when it’s safe to open ….. ahhhhh, it’s like Christmas morning!
Well, for me, an overly energetic housewife/homesteader. It’s like Christmas for people like me. {I only wish I had made a bigger batch – however I need a bigger stew pot for that task.}




Once the first batch came out, I was hooked and on to the second type of soup (Hamburger  Soup – recipe here) …

I was able to pressure can two lots of soup and went to bed dazy, tired but happy, and dreaming about which soups to can next …

In the morning, I arose before the sun (well, not without Lavender’s gentle help) and found my groggy way to the kitchen. While the girls ate their breakfast and chit chattered about their day, I peeled loads and loads of carrots, chopped piles of celery and cried over the onions [definitely my least favorite part].

By lunch time, I had my third batch of soups  all finished – this time,  Honey-Ginger Carrot soup was ‘put up’ for the winter.  {I added honey to this recipe- it tastes so lovely!}

{Just a note – you cannot use milk products – cream, milk, etc. – when pressure canning. So watch your recipes – for this soup, I omitted the cream and will just add it when I go to serve the soup from the jar. It’s still very thick, however, even without the cream added.}


Oh, I am so in looooooove …. all that’s needed is a loaf of homemade bread from the oven or warm biscuits and you’re meal is set! Wouldn’t this also make a lovely gift for a new mother or perhaps a friend who is under the weather?


If I can pressure can soups, so can you!



It certainly makes my heart go flip-flop when I open the pantry and see home-canned soups ready for the cold winter months ahead, almost like seeing massive stacks of firewood piled neatly outside for the upcoming winter months …. joy in knowing there will be cozy warmth and good, healthy food for the family …

Okay, I know, we all find joy in different ways…

Mine new found joy?


The scary, slightly-less intimidating sound of that pressure canner weight rocking away on stove …

September 1, 2014 - 6:45 am

JES I have been having a blast with our pressure canner too! Lots of black beans, pinto beans and beef stock this month 🙂 Perfect for a homeschooling schedule. Now you have me wanting to do soups with your gorgeous pictures! Thank you for sharing last week at the Art of Home-Making Mondays! {You have a beautiful blog!} Please join us again this week 🙂

August 24, 2014 - 1:28 am

Lauren This is something I really, really want to tackle early this spring, before the baby comes. Thanks for the helpful links 🙂