Wednesday, April 14, 2021

David's Digest: Can We Offer Up Our Issac?

James 2:21 - "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Abraham's Issac was his only son -- the son of the promise, and yet God would have Abraham offer Isaac as a literal sacrifice on an alter. I would assume this caused Abraham at least a little angst of heart and mind. However, he was quickly obedient.

What has God required of us that causes us pause by way of reason or feelings? How are we to approach obedience to God? Are we willing to offer up our "Issacs"?

Puritan Thomas Manton in his most excellent work "A Practical Commentary, or an Exposition with Notes, on the Epistle of James" applies Abraham's experience in a practical way to our lives in this verse.

You can listen to all of verse 21 here:


or download it:
Download


The entire book is available here: https://ia800904.us.archive.org/2/items/apracticalcomme01mantgoog/apracticalcomme01mantgoog.pdf#page=246, and this section starts on PDF page 246 (in the print, page 227), or you can get it in other formats here...

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Manton - James Commentary


From Thomas Manton:

Verse 21. - Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?


Obs 4. From that Offered Isaac upon the altar He brings this as the great argument of the truth of Abraham's faith. It is not for faith to produce every action, unless it produce such actions as Abraham's. Such as will engage you to self-denial, are troublesome to the flesh. David scorned such service as [that] cost nothing. There -- where we must deny our own reason, affections, interest -- that is an action fit to try a believer.

Let us see what is observable in this action of Abraham, that we may go and do likewise.

(1.) Observe the greatness of the temptation. It was to offer his own son, the son of his love, his only son, a son longed for, and obtained when 'his body was dead', and 'Sarah's womb dead'; nay, 'the son of the promise'. Had he been to contend only with natural affection, it had been much -- descensive love [I believe, love of a descendant, like a child] is always vehement; but for love to Isaac there were special endearing reasons and arguments.

But Abraham was not only to conflict with natured affection, but reason; not only with reason, but faith. He was, as it were, to execute all his hopes; and all this was to be done by himself; with his own hand he was at one stroke to cut off all his comforts. The execution of such a sentence was as harsh and bitter to flesh and blood, as to be his own executioner.

Oh! go and shame yourselves without, you that can so little deny yourselves for God, that attempt duties only when they are easy and obvious, never care to recover them out of the hands of difficulty and inconvenience. Public duties, if well done, are usually against carnal interests; private duties against carnal affections. Can you give up all that is near and dear to you? Can you offer up your Isaac? your ease and pleasure, for private duties? your interests, for public? Every action is not a trial of faith, but such as engages to self-denial.

(2.) Consider the readiness of his obedience. As Abraham is the pattern of believing, so of obeying. He received the promises, as a figure of our faith; he offered up his son, as a figure of our obedience (Heb. xi. 17).

(1st.) He obeyed readily and willingly: 'Abraham rose early in the morning' (Gen. xxii. 3). In such a service some would have delayed all the time they could; but he is up early. Usually we straiten [confine, make narrow] duty, rather than straiten ourselves: we are not about that work early.

(2nd.) Resolutely: he concealed it from his wife, servants, from Isaac himself, that so he might not be diverted from his pious purpose. Oh! who is now so wise to order the circumstances of a duty, that he may not be hindered in it?

(3rd.) He denied carnal reason. In difficult cases we seek to elude the command; dispute how we shall shift it off, not how we shall obey it. If we had been put upon such a trial, we would question the vision, or seek some other meaning; perhaps offer the image of Isaac, or some youngling of the flock, and call it Isaac; as now we often pervert a command by distinctions, and invent shifts to cheat our souls into a neglect of duty; as the heathens, when their gods called for a man, they offered a candle; or as Hercules offered up a painted man instead of a living.

But Abraham does not so, though he had a fair occasion; for he was divided between believing the promise and obeying the command. God tried him in his faith; his faith was to conflict with his natural reason, as well as his obedience with his natural affection. But he 'accounted that God was able to raise him from the dead' (Heb. xi. 19), and he reconciled the commandment with the promise. How easily could we have slipped out at this door, and disobey out of pretences and reasons of religion! But Abraham offered Isaac.


May God grant us to be able to see the "Isaacs" in our lives that we might not be willing to easily let go of;

... may we not lessen duty because it goes against carnal selves in some way;

... may He grant us the faith and trust in Him to not hold on to any things of this temporal world;

... may we see ourselves only as stewards of anything we have, with God as the actual owner of them;

... may we cheerfully and obediently surrender and submit ourselves to whatever His pleasure is in the retrieving of these things from us at any moment, even those things most dear to us and least pleasing to our carnal selves;

... and may the Lord grant that He be our only portion, now and always!

Psa 16:5- "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot."

Psa 119:57 - "Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words."

Psa 73:25-26 - "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

-- David

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Critter Corner: Where's the Belf-ry?

Well, we had an uninvited guest flying around in our house the other night. At first, I thought it was a barn swallow, which we commonly have around the house here, since they build nests on the porch rafters. But as it flew by me at around eye level, I wondered....and sure enough, when it landed up on the wall, it sure looked like what I had now suspected it was...a bat! We figure it must have tailgaited when one of us came in from outside.

Hm, what to do. So, I went and got a fish net we have (which, by the way, works great for swooping up runaway chickens! :D ), set up the ladder, and with a piece of cardboard, rounded up the bat, and then took him outside and let it go.

Here's a little video of the event! To me, it looked like a flying mouse. The cats were sure interested in it, although I assume they thought it was a bird:



I don't know what grief it could have caused us or the cats in the house, but we thank the Lord we were able to scoop it up and out.

-- David

P.S. If you don't understand the reference in the title of this blog post, a long time ago there was a TV commerical for a fast-food burger joint where an elderly lady was complaining of the competitor's hamburger size compared to the bun, asking "Where's the beef?" :D

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

David's Digest: You Must Deny Yourself

Matthew 16:24 - "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

By nature, we are all self-centered. Every sin has some idolatry in it, where we are self-gods (ie. God said to do or not do something, and in a certain way, and we say, "No, I know better", which is defacto saying we will not have God be our God, but ourselves). The original sin was to be God (while the temptation was to "be as gods", Gen 3:5, in the end, since only one God can exist at a time by definition, the reality was that they wanted to be God).

According to the above verse, we are required to deny ourselves to be a disciple of Christ. Then, it seems it would follow that we really cannot be good Christians with each other without it either, which makes sense from experience as well.

Along the lines with how important I believe Jonathan Edwards' Charity and Its Fruits as sort of being part of "Christianity 101", that every person claiming the name of Christ should attend to, I believe Thomas Manton's A Treatise of Self-Denial is right up there along with it.
And so, to help make it available in audio format for those who might rather listen than read, I recently finished recording the entire treatise, which you can access as one of our Readings pages here:

A Treatise of Self-Denial

And if you want to read it, you can find it here: https://www.monergism.com/treatise-self-denial-free-ebook

I cannot emphasize how important I believe Mr. Manton's exposé is. We hope you'll take the time to go through it, and may God guide your studies.

-- David

Monday, March 8, 2021

Psalm Singing - March 2021

Once again, in hoping to help us learn them better, and maybe help others learn the Psalms as well, Sue & I finished recording the next set of Psalms, 90A-93A, from the psalter we use!

And here they are:



(If the above player doesn't work, or if you would like to save any of the files locally to your computer, you can click the Download link below, or right click it and click Save As in the popup menu.)

Psalms 90A-93A


Ps 66:1-2 - "Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious."

-- David


Previous Psalms singings:

Psalms 1A-12B (minus 4B)

Psalms 4B & 13-18L

Psalms 19A-22E

Psalms 22F-24C

Psalms 25A-27F

Psalms 28A-31G

Psalms 32A-34D

Psalms 35A-37F

Psalms 38B-40F

Psalms 41A-44F

Psalms 45A-49C

Psalms 50A-53

Psalms 54A-59B

Psalms 60A-65B

Psalms 66A-68E

Psalms 69A-71D

Psalms 72A-76B

Psalms 77A-78H

Psalms 79A-84B

Psalms 85A-89H

Monday, February 22, 2021

Texas 2021 Arctic Blast: Our Homestead's Version

Here's a little around our homestead at the beginning and end of Texas' 2021 arctic blast!

This was after the first main night -- snow and cold, with forecasted windchills down to -18F. These were I believe our worst temperatures we've experienced here, even after the 2011 freeze. The thermometer says about 4F:
4F on the Thermometer

Here's the homestead:
Frozen Homestead
More Frozen Homestead

I was a little worried about the cattle, given there are some young ones, but thanks to the Lord, they all made it through ok!
Cattle After Freezing Snow Storm
More Cattle After Freezing Snow Storm
Another of Cattle After Freezing Snow Storm

During the week, Sue's "onesy" (coveralls) in front of the wood burning stove was the favorite for the domestics:
Mimi in the Onesy
William in the Onesy
Tuscan & Leila on the Onesy

On the first day after a week of these freezing temperatures, things started getting back to normal. Here's our resident stray hanging out on the cistern spigot, which we had double wrapped with blankets the whole time, allowing us to use it too whenever we needed:
Mimi-Dude on the Cistern Spigot

And here are all the goat accoutrements hanging on the fence after Sue took them off:
Goat Coats on the Fence

Those were just a few pictures, but we show a lot more in this video, which has the day after the first main night as above, and then after coming out of it 5 days later (including a surpise from a momma cow!):



All throughout, the Lord was merciful in granting all the animals come through (yes, that missing rooster from the video showed up!), and helping Sue and me with strength to do all the care-taking!

We have no grid electric or water, which actually worked to our advantage, as we always had electric and good water as needed. We pray for those still suffering from the effects, but also hope people might consider their situation and on whom or what they depend for life sustenance.

We also saw how we believe God pre-set up provision before we really knew what was coming, even though they seemed a little "cross" to us at the time: the boy goats had knocked off the top of their hay bale, but Sue just took that hay into the barn, and it ended up being their main food for the week; and I had pre-put out hay bales for the cows, and one had been eaten down a lot and spread out by the time the cold hit, and another spread around some, but those also afforded bedding for the cattle. Also, both the tractor and truck starters went out at the same time a few weeks ago, we needed both for this cold front, and so they were ready to go.

Once again, we are very thankful for God's help through 2021's arctic blast, and for the gift of the new little heifer calf!

-- David

Friday, February 5, 2021

David's Digest: Bridle the Tongue

James 1:26 - "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

This little member of our body can do so much damage and be so abominable -- from blasphemies to slanders. And so, it is important it be bridled.

Puritan Thomas Manton in his most excellent work "A Practical Commentary, or an Exposition with Notes, on the Epistle of James" explains why he believes James felt this was important to include.

You can listen to all of verse 26 here:


or download it:
Download


The entire book is available here: https://ia800904.us.archive.org/2/items/apracticalcomme01mantgoog/apracticalcomme01mantgoog.pdf, and this section starts on PDF page 167 (in the print, page 148), or you can get it in other formats here...

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Manton - James Commentary


From Thomas Manton:

Verse 26. - If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.


The apostle, having showed the blessedness of those which are doers of the word, lest any should seem to challenge a share in it to whom it doth not belong, he discovers who are hearers only and not doers of the word; men that do allow themselves in any known sin; and he instances in the evils of the tongue.

Question: Before I open the words any further, I shall inquire why James does pitch so much weight upon this one particular, it seeming so inconsiderable in itself, and it having so little respect to the context?

Answer: The reasons assigned in the answer will afford us so many notes.

Reason 1.
Because this is a chief part of our respect to our neighbour; and true love to God will be manifested by love to our neighbour. They do not usually detract from others, whom God hath pardoned. He that said, "Thou shalt love God," hath also said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour." Though the object be diverse, yet the ground for obedience is the same.

Therefore the apostles usually bring this argument to unmask and discolour hypocritical persuasions: as, "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even till now" (1 John ii. 9). So, "If he shut up his bowels from his brother, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (1 John iii. 17, 18.) How can it be imagined that those that are sensible of the love of God, should be merciless towards others? So, "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John iv. 20.) The good and attractiveness that are in others is an object of the senses, and usually they make a strong impression. Well then, do not flatter yourselves with duties of worship in the neglect of duties of commerce.

Reason 2.
Because of the natural proneness that is in us to offend with the tongue. Censuring is a pleasing sin, extremely compliant with nature. How propense the nature of man is to it, I shall show you in the third chapter. Speech is the discovery of reason: corruption soon runs out that way.

Well then, watch over it; the more natural corruptions are, the more care should we use to suppress them: "I will take heed to my ways, that I offend not with my tongue" (Psa. xxxix. 1); there needs special caution for that: and, as you should watch, so you should pray, and desire God to watch over your watching: "Set a watch before my mouth, keep the door of my lips" (Psa. cxli. 3). The awe of God is a great restraint.

Reason 3.
Because it was the sin of that age; as appears by his frequent dissuasives: see verse 19. So chapter iii. per totum. So chapter iv. 11, etc. The note is, it is an ill sign to be carried away with the evil of the times. It is a description of wicked men that they "walked according to the course of this world" (Ephes. ii. 2): in the original, according to the age, as the manner of the times went.

So, "Be not conformed to this world" (Rom. xii. 2); or "to this age"; the meaning is, do not get into the garb of the times. So, "He walked after the trade of Israel" (2 Chron. xvii. 4). Many do so; they walk after the fashion and trade of the country and times wherein they live. Oh consider, this is the sure note of a vain [useless] profession. Sins, when they grow common, become less odious; and therefore slight spirits commit them without remorse.

Reason 4.
Because it seems so small a sin; and, having laid aside grosser sins, they did the more securely continue in the practice of it. They were not adulterers, drunkards; and, therefore, flattering themselves with a show of holiness, they did the more freely censure and detract from others. Note, indulgence in the least sin cannot stand with grace: your religion is vain, if you do not refrain your tongue.

They are miserably mistaken that hope to redeem their souls from the guilt of one sin by abstaining from the practice of another. Some are precise in small things, that they may be excused for non-observance of the weightier things of the law; as the stomach when it cannot digest solid food, naturally desires to fill itself with water, or such light stuff as breeds nought [nothing] but wind. The Pharisees tithed mint and cummin, etc. Others avoid grosser sins, and hope that it is an excuse for other corruptions that are not so odious. We all plead, "Is it not a little one, and my soul shall live?"

Reason 5.
Because this is usually the hypocrite's sin. Hypocrites, of all others, are least able to bridle their tongue; and they that seem to be religious, are most free in censuring.

Partly because, being acquainted with the guilt of their own spirits, they are most apt to suspect others. Nazianzen said of his father, he being of an innocent and candid soul, was less apt to think evil of others; and he gives this reason, goodness is least suspicious, and plain hearts think all like themselves.

Partly because they use to be much abroad [observing others], that are so little at home their own hearts]. Censuring is a trick of the Devil, to take off the care from their own hearts; and therefore, to excuse indignation against their own sins, their zeal is passionate in declaiming against the sins of others. Gracious hearts reflect most upon themselves: they do not seek what to reprove in others, but what to lament in themselves.

Partly because they are not so meek and gentle as true Christians. When a man is sensible of his own failings, he is very tender in reflecting upon the weaknesses of others: "Ye which are spiritual, restore him with meekness" (Gal. vi. 1): they which are most spiritual, are most tender to set a fallen Christian "in joint" again.

Partly because a hypocrite is a proud person; he would have every one to be his own foil, and therefore he blemishes others. Diotrephes would be prating against John, "because he loved the pre-eminence" (3 John 9).

Partly because hypocrites are best at their tongue, and therefore cannot bridle it. When men make religion a talk, their way is to blemish others: it is a piece of their religion.

The Lord give you to discern into your own souls, whether these dispositions be not in you, or no.

Reason 6.
Because there is such a quick intercourse between the tongue and the heart, that the tongue is the best discovery of it; and therefore (says the apostle) is their religion vain, if they cannot bridle their tongues. Seneca said, that the speech is the express image of the heart; and a greater than he said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

The quality of many men's religion may be discerned by the intemperateness of their language; words are but the excrements and overflow of their wickedness. A man may soon discern of what religion they are (says Pareus of the Jesuits) that, like angry curs, cannot pass by one another without snarling.


May God grant us a sense of our own sins, a tenderness to the failings of others, a hatred of the least sin, and help in the watch over the small member of our body that can do so much evil!
James 3:1-8: My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:

8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

-- David

Thursday, January 21, 2021

4 Great Reasons to Consider Pressure Canning! (and a Quick Tutorial)

I dove off the deep end into pressure canning about 14 years ago when we moved off grid and didn't have the luxury of abundant electricity to run a large freezer all the time. We do raise our own beef, poultry and pork to eat, but pressure can to preserve most of the meat. But you don't have to live out in the country or off grid to be motivated to pressure can. You can live in the middle of New York City, in the suburbs, or out in the middle of nowhere (insert town here) and pressure can like a boss on your own terms! And if I can do it, anyone "can"!


Why pressure can?

Here are a few great reasons to consider pressure canning:

  • Save Money!

    You'd be surprised how much food you can preserve very cheaply by simply keeping your eyes open for grocery store sales! Bacon, potatoes, Thanksgiving turkey, ham, butter, hamburger (see my quick tutorial below), venison, etc. Also sales on fruit, and veggies. You can cut up fruit, shove it in a jar with water and can it! You don't have to know the fru-fru stuff. Have it with whipped cream later on to sweeten it up.

  • Peace of mind during electric outages.

    Just a week ago, our local town had power outages due to a snow storm. Some people had to hurriedly obtain generators so their freezers could continue to run, fending off potential food catstrophes. You don't have to pressure can all of your meat; you can keep some fresh meat in a freezer and can some, so you have peace of mind and more options if you run into an emergency.

  • Save time!

    If you invest the time up front to pressure can much of your food, it will reap huge time benefits later when all you have to do is dump the already pre-cooked food from your jar into your pot or pan and heat it up. At one point, I had beef, carrots and potatoes all canned and ready to go and all I had to do was add a can of corn, a can of green beans and water/broth for a very quick beef stew for dinner. That's just one example of so many. You can also easily pressure can your own complete soups and stews. Just put all of your ingredients in a jar and can it! With canned meat (ground, cubed, etc) you just need to heat it up and season it before adding it to your meal plan (tacos, pasta dishes, casseroles, meat pies, etc.) The possibilities are endless.

    Sadly, the times in which we are living are much less stable than in ages past. If any link in the food supply chain fails, it doesn't take long before people start panicking and hoarding basic goods. Toilet paper during the COVID crisis is a prime example. You can find alternatives for TP, but if you are not prepared with food, you are in a much more critical situation. This alone is an excellent reason to consider pressure canning so you can have a pantry or cellar full of preserved foods for you and your family, and to share.

  • Don't be afraid of canning!

    It is pretty hard to mess up, and there are safeguards in place. There is a pressure overflow plug that is designed to pop out if too much pressure builds up and releases excess steam. But if you follow instructions and don't leave your canner for long periods of time, everything should work out very well. There is usually a "sweet spot" you find during a canning session where the pressure stays consistent so you don't have to monitor it as much.


If you would prefer grass-fed meat options, you might consider calling your local meat processor and ask if they know of anyone who wants to split the cost of processing a cow, pig or deer, etc. Or put a feeler out on your local classifieds. It is generally cheaper and healthier per pound than store-bought meat.

If you are hesitatant to make the initial investment to try pressure canning, you might ask around to see if you can borrow or purchase someone's canner if they are not using it. And there may be some great canning books at the local library or online you can check out if you want to research it for yourself. The canning ideas are endless if you plug into the right books and online forums/websites.

To give you an example of how long canned food can last, I canned 50 quarts of borsch in 2009 when we had a bumper crop of cabbage - and I still find a jar here and there, dump it out along with a jar of canned meat, heat it up and serve it with sour cream and toasted bread and it's still hearty, healthy and delicious! When you go to use any jar of canned food, you'll want to make sure the seal on the jar is still strong and doesn't come off when you pull on it. This indicates the vacuum seal is still intact. Then you pry off the lid with the side of a knife or other preferred utensil and you'll hear that little "whoosh" of air when you break the seal.


Okay, now I'll quickly take you through a very basic process of canning hamburger meat. This was from the most recent bull we took to the processor.

The very basic tools you need to get started canning are: A pressure canner, canning jars, lids and screw tops, a funnel, jar lifter and lid magnet (and water, of course :) If you enter "pressure canning starter kit" into a web search query or online retailer, lots of options will pop up for your consideration.


With ground meat, you need to lightly cook it before canning it. It takes approx. 14 lbs. of meat to fill seven quart jars (a quart jar can hold approx. 2 lbs of meat). So I cook it in multiple pans to get that phase done quickly:
Packages of Ground Beef
Ground Beef in Pans

In my case, I have two large canners that can process seven quarts each so I brown approx. 28 lbs. of meat in one session. It really doesn't take that long depending on how much meat you are browning at one time. These are 2-pound packs, so I can brown 4 lbs at a time:
Browning Ground Beef

Here is all the meat from one session:
Browned Ground Beef

Okay, disclaimer: I highly recommend you follow the instructions in your canning book. This is how I *personally* can ground meat but you do what you believe is best. At this point, I spoon the meat into pint or quart jars. I do not heat up the jars in the oven but leave them at room temperature:
Spooning Ground Beef into Jar

At this point, I take a wet paper towel and wipe the rims of the jars with warm/hot water to remove any grease or small bits of meat:
Jars Full of Browned Ground Beef

I use regular size tops and screw-on lids. You can purchase "wide-mouth" jars and lids if you like the openings of the jars to be bigger:
Canning Lids

I put 14 lids in water and heat it up to "not-quite" boiling:
Canning Lids in Pot

When the lids are ready, I use my handy-dandy magnetic lid wand to pull the lids out of the water:
Pulling Lids Out of Pot with Magnet Wand

Then I place each lid on top of each jar:
Placing Canning Lid on Jar

Then I use a screw top (canning jar band) on each jar to secure the lids. I had this little stack of screw tops just right and then Laila, our cat, started playing with them (sigh :) ). I screw the lids to "hand tight", but not too tight:
Canning Jar Bands

Depending on which canner you use, you pour water into the canner to the depth that the instructions indicate. It only takes less than two inches of water at the bottom of the canner. When I first started I thought it would take a lot more water, but when you place the jars in, the water level raises up almost to the top of the jars:
Measuring Water in Canner

Then you load the jars into the canner with the water already in it. Tip! You'll want your canner already on your stove before you load the jars because it's pretty heavy to lift if you are using a larger load canner (speaking from lessons learned :) ):
Jars in Canner

Here are both of my canners loaded and ready to have the lids secured. I do not heat up the canner and water prior to adding the jars. I prefer to skip the jar pre-heating process and heat everything up together more slowly:
Jars in Both Canners

I have an All American canner and a Presto canner. Both are great and I highly recommend them. The All American (on the left) has screws all around the canner. The Presto has a twist-on lid with a gasket underneath the perimeter of the lid which creates a tight fit. The benefit of the All American is that you don't have to continuously buy replacement parts, which you do with the Presto (the gasket). The Presto is less expensive so it all depends on your priorities. Depending on the sizes of jars you are canning, your processing time will vary. When canning meat, usually the processing time is 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts. Just follow the instructions, especially for how much pressure to use, and you should do great!
Canners with Lids On

When the canning session is complete, you turn off the heat and let the pressure come down slowly and naturally until it reaches zero. Then you open the canner and remove the jars with your jar lifting utensil and place them on a heat stable surface to cool down. (Sorry, I don't have pics for this step.) As the jars cool, you will start hearing the "pops" from the jars which means the vacuum sealing process is complete. Sometimes you will have a jar or more that just doesn't seal for any number of reasons, so you can either can it again if you are planning another session, or put it in the fridge and use it up like any other perishable item, whichever you feel it best:
Canned Jars of Meat

Here is the finished product. I canned 28 lbs. of meat in just an afternoon. This represents many meals for me and my husband. I store our jars in our root cellar without the bands (because they are not needed for the jar lid to stay on and sealed, and they can rust on the jar) and bring them up when I plan to use them in my weekly menu. This will taste great in a wide variety of dishes, including pasta dishes, casseroles, tacos, you name it!
Jar of Canned Ground Beef

I hope this birds-eye overview has helped you consider pressure canning for yourself and your family. It's a small investment that can reap huge rewards!

Susan