I am *so* not the queen of canning. I'm just a little gung-ho about it.
I was terrified of canning at first, but the need to make my grandma's secret recipe relish because I'd run out of hers (and she died 6.5 years ago) overpowered my fear.
And I didn't use the pressure canner the first year we had it because it scared me with all those dire exploding warnings all over it.
But I got over it, and we've canned bunches of stuff. And my only explosions so far have been a pint of apricots and a quart of cherries (in the water bath canner). It's heartbreaking when that happens, I will admit that. I'm also really
anal about inspecting the jars I'm going to can with, especially for the pressure canner.
And again, I'm uber-careful with the pressure canner. More than half the time we have it going outside on a propane fired camp stove/burner so we don't heat up the house (after kids are inside for the day though). We also let things really cool off before even bothering to crack open the lid, and I have a tendency to slightly over-process by 5-10 minutes or so. So far we're all still alive.