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McGyverize a makeshift water bath canner


Planning for retirement is almost a full time job!

Seriously, it is.....One might think that the whole act of not working would in fact mean that you don't really have to work hard at not working, but there is more to it than that.

First off we want to retire at the coast. However we currently don't live at the coast. This location deficit can be investigated over the internet, but does require traveling (as it is turning out) regularly to get the actual feel  of a neighborhood or placement of a new home. Whew, like I said a part time job in addition to everything else.....

As a matter of fact I have been a bit unsettled since we made the decision, because there really is so much to do. We won't actually make the move until next spring when we sell one of the houses here and make a purchase of another home at the coast. But in the next few months we will be traveling back and forth until we learn the location of where we would prefer to live.

We are definitely working on making the dream come true!

We are not falling in love with any house currently up for sale, as it most likely won't be available when we are ready to purchase, but we are settling on a location. Of course in a perfect world, we would like to be in one of the developments that offers the lake to the east and the ocean to the west.

You may have read this post about placing an offer on a fixer? Gosh we were so ready and had fallen hard for the location. Unfortunately we are withdrawing our offer with the feasibility study clause, as the septic has failed and of course the new buyers would be needing to replace it, cha-ching!

So this is where we move on to the more realistic plan of trading houses with the kids and selling the smaller one, which will work out better in a sluggish market. We are now looking at next spring, but trust me, we will be ready to move forward!

And now, news from the kitchen....

The garden is winding down, but I did can 5 pints of diced tomatoes last night. There is chard to get processed for the freezer and a couple remaining acorn squash to pick before we retire the vines. I have raspberry juice to make into jelly, however it is safely stored in the freezer until I have a free afternoon later this fall or even in the winter, maybe right before Christmas.

I have had problems canning on my glass top stove and to be honest I want the next house to have a regular old fashioned electric range with coils. I won't mind, and my water bath canner will appreciate the simplicity of it also. But in the meanwhile I took the opportunity to take a few gadgets found around the house and makeshift a canning kettle that does not have the rippled bottom, which is the problem on the glass top stove.

You can use what you have available, here is a suggestion.


Here we are using jar rings, a steamer rack and paint sticks.


The jar rings give lift off the bottom of the pan.


Place the rack you are using over the rings, this rack is not perfect, but is what I have currently. A round cake cooling rack would be great.


Heavy duty poultry shears or equivalent will cut the wood easily. Lay the stick across the top of the pan and then cut short a bit so the stick slips easily into the pan.

This is an experiment in progress...I can tell that there is plenty of room to double up on the sticks. 

Load your canner with jars and slip a wooden piece between to keep the jars from traveling and bumping into each other during the processing time.




Lay the sticks in opposite directions and on each end wind the twine in the indent meant for your thumb when you stir paint. 

Cut the remaining sticks, using cotton twine double up the wooden pieces, by wrapping twine at each end and knotting firmly (several times, just in case.).

How about you, how have your improvised in your kitchen?

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3 comments

  1. What a great idea for the canner! Hopefully the right place will come along for you! The coast is where I would love to be too!

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  2. Hi Melynda! I'm so sorry the house you hoped for didn't work out. Fixer-upper is one thing, but I think you made the right choice about a failed septic system.Ugh. I have also rigged up a water bath canner hack. Not because I have a glass top stove, but because I had a small batch of canning and didn't want to break out that huge pot. ;-) Rocquie

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