Pressure canned vegetable soup

What did I do wrong???????

In the fall I had pressure canned a few vegetable soups, with vegetables from my garden, according to the recipe I usually make. The soups taste horrible. Only the smell after heating the soup is so terrible, we did not even want to try the soup.

Only the pumpkin soup is eatable. It does not taste as good as freshly made pumpkin soup, but we can eat it. The other soups landed on the compost. It is such a shame of the work and all of the ingredients.

I do not know what I did wrong. I had watched several videos of people pressure canning vegetable soups and those soups looked appealing and the vegetables still had some colour. Did I pressure can with to much pressure? Did I pressure can a wrong ingredient? Was there still too much fat in the bone broth? I will have to find out before I try to pressure can vegetables again.

Building a bathroom: Part 1: Putting up the basic structure

Since we are living in a caravan without a shower and, most of the year, it is to cold and windy to shower outside, we are going to build a bathroom inside our barn with a work shop on top.

Desirable was we could have build the house we had in mind, with a bathroom, but that dream has been swept off the table by the official authorities. We will wait a few years for curtain things to change and try to get an approval for building our house then.

But until then we need a few things set in place to make our daily life a bit nicer and easier, starting with a bathroom and a playroom for the kids/ sewing room for me. Obviously the last two will be one room.

This structure inside our barn will be insulated and we will be able to heat it. I am so very much looking forward to be able to use this room. Since we have sold our Tiny House I had to pack my fabrics and sewing machines into our storage. I am missing being able to sew clothing for my children and me.

Also the kitchen in the caravan is very small, too small for kitchen appliances to make life easier and make cooking more time efficient. I like to make my own yoghurt, I bake my own bread (the hand mixer is on/ over its limit with this), there is no place to put up my ferments (in the barn they turn bad), etc. I also want to make my own soap again and make our own cheese again. The pressure canning I did last fall was a bit unpleasant in the cold (almost freezing) and I had to put the hot jars in the caravan to let them cool down slowly, which took up a lot of space.

One other major thing that needs space is a freeze dryer. I really want to have a freeze dryer for preserving our harvest from the garden this year. So the room we are creating will hold my sewing supplies, my kitchen appliances and a freeze dryer which I hope to purchase this year. The room will not be very big, so we will have to see how we will get everything a usable spot, a working space and some room for the children to play, but more to that in a later blog post.

For this project it is very convenient that we have a lumberyard, since we did not plan ahead, but came to this idea only recently. The support frame is made out of beams and posts which where for a customer who changed his mind about the size of the lumber, so these have been sitting for a while already. That is great, since you should not build with freshly cut wood, but let lumber sit for a while first. The rafters and planking where also already sitting, meant for a different project.

The building started with positioning the big beams with our tractor, they are too heavy to lift by hand.

Then the posts are positioned and fixed underneath with metal angles.

To give the structure stability, bracings are put in place in the corners.

The deck is made with a lot of rafters and planking on top to close the surface.

Some lights are put in place underneath the deck.

To make the deck safe to use, a railing is attached and of course a stairs is made. For the safety of our children a gate is made on top of the stairs and in the middle of the railing a gate is made, so we can put things up on the deck with the tractor.

Now the first stage is done and my husband needs to set up his workshop again. Smaller tools and all of the supplies will go on the deck and the bigger machines will find there place on ground level. Next thing to do is framing of the walls, but that is for another time.

Baking bread without a regular oven

While travelling we don’t want to go without homemade bread. We have found this nice solution. An Omnia oven.

The Omnia oven is an oven for on the gas stove. I have been trying this out and it works great. The temperature right underneath the lid does not reach the temperature you would normally bake bread with, but on a higher setting the bottom of the bread will burn. After finding the right setting for the gas burner, the baking of the bread takes only a bit longer as it would in a regular oven.

Obviously the Omnia oven is not only for baking bread. It can be used for almost anything you would use a regular oven for. The size of the food is limiting. A chicken or anything like that does not fit inside, but, among other things, cookies, a cake or lasagna are possible. Things we are going to try out in the near future.

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