Alright all you professional pressure-canners….this is the week.  I have been canning for two days, and have at least 2 to go.  I have learned all about my canner, read the books through, explored the recipes, bought jars, lids, canning supplies, you name it.  Things seem to be going well, and so far, all the jars seem to be sealed.  Now, after 2 days, I have two questions.

1–How do get things to “flow” smoothly? 

Today was a big day.  I did 40 pounds of yams.  Of those, most were cubed and canned in quart jars as instructed, but I also puree’d a bit and canned it for baby food.  The problem is that I couldn’t keep everything hot for hot-packing with the amount of time involved in running the actual pressure system cooking the batches.  I boiled the potatoes.  After boiling one batch, I would peel that while another batch boiled.  Then I chopped.  Eventually all the potatoes were done, the jars and lids were hot, the sugar water was boiling, and the pressure canner heated a bit.  That is when the problem arose.  While one batch steamed in the canner, the others got cold.  Is this how it is done, or should I prepare less next time?  I have a lot more to do, and I am learning as I go.  I would love any tips you can offer to prevent me having to constantly re-heat things or pack them less-than-hot.   

2–Why do I have to vent the canner for 7 minutes before putting the weight on? 

I did forget to vent it once, but the cans sealed.  I am assuming they are still OK?  Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer this newbie!