Pressure Canning

Veronica Cauliflower, today’s harvest from the garden.

The canned Chicken Pot Pie filling was so delicious that we decided to can more of it. It is a fussy recipe that requires a lot of steps. Attila and I worked together to assemble and prepare the ingredients, and four jars are in the pressure canner right now, along with two jars of canned potatoes. Potatoes were on sale last week, so 20 pounds were purchased. It takes us a long time to eat 20 pounds of potatoes, and they are usually not in the most wonderful condition when we get to the end of the bag. Since the pressure canner was in use for the Pot Pie filling, it was decided to can two quarts of potatoes, so that we will be sure to have some for Christmas, if the prices become out of reach for us. If we like them, we will probably put in an annual supply when potatoes come on sale again, during harvest season of 2023.

I have plans to pressure can baked beans in the weeks to come. Pressure canning is a lot more time consuming than water bath canning, so once I overcome inertia to bring the equipment up from the basement and get started, I like to keep going.

The mild weather is due to disappear tonight. Friday and Saturday were sunny and warm, like beautiful summer days. Last night the temperature in the house reached 26C, which is far to warm for comfort for us. The windows were open all day, but that only brought the temperature down to 24C. It was extremely windy last night, so I stayed up into the night to keep the windows open in an attempt to cool the house down. I won’t sleep well when the house is too warm, so I might as well stay up until I am comfortable. It took hours for the temperature to drop to 23C. At that point I gave up, closed up the house and retired for the night. Stubbornly, I refused to turn the air conditioning on, since it was November 5th!

Today the windows have been open all morning. Up early, I baked a crustless Pumpkin Pie, using squash from our garden, which was pureed and frozen in 2019. Attila really enjoys taking this in his lunch. More heat was generated as the ingredients for the Chicken Pot Pie were prepared: the chicken was partially cooked and shredded; the potatoes were blanched for 5 minutes; the onions were sauteed; and the mixed vegetables were blanched for 2 minutes. The house began to gain heat as the pressure canner was loaded and coming to pressure. Luckily the temperature out of doors is falling now, so that I could close the windows in the kitchen, to prevent drafts around the canner. The living room window is still open, as it creates no draft in the kitchen.

Ginger found the late night open windows quite jarring. He started at every sound. I stayed in my easy chair, right next to his footstool throne, murmuring assurances to him at every loud noise. As the the night progressed, he payed less and less attention to those noises, and eventually he slept through them. Ginger is still having new experiences here at Mist Cottage. More and more, this is just home.

For our picnic at the Camp on Saturday, I brought a jar of Dill Pickles I had canned in 2020, using the original, unaltered recipe. The saltiness was so intense, it was awful. I will not be able to enjoy these salty pickles, although, at the time we canned them, they tasted wonderful. My palate has further adapted to a low-sodium regime, and salty foods, like the dill pickles, are no longer enjoyable. So what to do with the jars of pickles that were canned using the original recipe?

I was asking myself this question, when I thought of Bex, who raved about homemade Dill Pickle Soup. At the time this soup did not sound appealing. But needs must, it would be a way to dilute the pickles in a larger dish. So I ran the idea by Attila, who said, what the heck, give it try. So tonight, we had Polish Potato and Dill Pickle Soup or dinner. My oh my oh my oh my… we LOVED this soup!! It is still a bit high in sodium, as I use 1 cup of diced dill pickle for the soup, but do not use the brine. Still the soup is relatively high in sodium, we estimate about 2500 mg in the pot of soup, so it is not something I could eat every day,

Polish Potato and Dill Pickle Soup

We are thinking that if potatoes get to expensive for us, we could make this soup with Winter Keeper Cabbage instead, and it would be a little different, but still delicious!

These days I make my dill pickles with half the salt called for in the recipe, and we like the pickles a lot more than the original recipe. So when the Dill Pickles canned in 2020, and 2021 disappear, this soup will have half the amount of sodium in it.

It amazes me how something as simple as making a new kind of soup, that we really like, is so very exciting and satisfying.

NOTE: The modifications we made to the Polish Potato and Dill Pickle Soup are as follows:
– omitted salt called for in recipe
– added 1 tsp of black pepper rather than 1/2 tsp
– used only pickles, no pickle brine, mashed them in a bowl before adding
– used diced carrots and potatoes, which were pre-cooked in the Instant Pot for 12 minutes
– thickened the soup with 3 tbsp flour mixed with 3/4 cup of filtered water



Updated on Sun, Nov 6, 1:05 PM
18 °C
Partly cloudy
Wind 22 SW km/h
Humidity 58 %
Visibility 24 km
Sunrise 6:51 AM
Wind gust 33 km/h
Pressure 101.5 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 4:51 PM


Seize from every moment its unique novelty, and do not prepare your joys.
Andre Gide
1869 – 1951

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Joan Lansberry

I’m glad you found a tasty solution to the too salty pickles!


That sounds like a great cold weather soup!!


I wish our dogs would learn that small noises are nothing to worry about, we’ve noe been here 8 months and they still act like someone closing a car door or hammering in the garage next door is alarming. I know we lived atvthe cottage for about a year and it was removed from the road but even there people did hammering and made other noises right next door.

Love the look of your cauliflower, it makes me think of a natural version of a fractal.