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Posts Tagged ‘canning’

The pressure’s on


In May our churh held a ladies' luncheon. I helped to prepare chicken salad for the event by cooking about 40 pounds of bone in chicken breasts in the crock pot. This generated quite a bit of chicken broth and then I cooked the bones with some vegetables to generate even more.

During this time Rob was out of town helping a friend move cross country so I had some free time in the kitchen. I put a new gasket and vent on the pressure canner and canned six and a half quarts of the broth, made a batch of soup and then froze the rest.

Later in the week I tried another new canning project, pressure canning great northern beans and pinto beans. They do have to process for over an hour but the actual preparation of the dry beans was no different from actually cooking them for soup or some other purpose. All but one jar sealed properly. I was kind of glad the one jar did not seal because I was curious to taste the finished product. The beans were perfectly cooked and had a nice creamy texture. It will be convenient to have them on hand for quick meals in the future.

CannedGNPintos

I used that one pint jar of great northern beans to try this new soup recipe from Southern Living:

CabbagePotatoWhiteBeanSoup
Cabbage, Potato, and White Bean Soup

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbsps. olive oil*
4-6 small potatoes, peeled and sliced
4-6 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
4-6 cups chopped cabbage
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

Heat oil in large soup kettle and then saute onion until tender. Add garlic and cook briefly before adding broth and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are nearly tender then add the cabbage and beans. Cook until the cabbage and potatoes are tender and then season with salt and pepper. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

*This would also be delicious with bacon grease and a little crumbled cooked bacon added to the soup.

These successes have made me want to try pressure canning a few other items that I have never tried canning before.

What's been going on in your kitchen lately?


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A new book at the library


PutEmUpFruitBook

I often stop by the new acquisition area at the library to check out recent arrivals. The last time I stopped by I found a book called Put 'em Up! Fruit A Preserving Guide & Cookbook by Sherri Brooks Vinton.

The book is divided into sections by type of fruit and has many good ideas for preserving various types of fruits and then has recipes for utilizing the things you have preserved. There are recipes for jams, conserves, jellies, vinegars, syrups, gastriques, shrubs, cordials, and many other items.

The beginning of the book has a wealth of information about preparing fruits for canning and freezing with lots of clear pictures of the equipment needed and the techniques used for common types of food preservation. This would be a wonderful resource for someone who would like to begin canning fruits and jams.

I'm hoping to try a few of the recipes and ideas presented in the book with some of the berries from our garden. I'll try to keep you posted on the results. 🙂


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I am an applesauce snob


Don't get me wrong - if you invite me over for dinner I will gladly eat whatever applesauce you place before me, but if it's up to me I will not buy the canned or jarred stuff from the grocery store.

Why is it that the texture of commercially prepared applesauce is so different from homemade applesauce? Can anybody out there in the webosphere tell me? I have a hunch that they just grind up raw apples, add sugar and citric acid and put it in the cans. To me it tastes mealy rather than smooth like homemade.

It is possible to get really good commercially canned applesauce - they have it in France. It's called compote de pommes and it's delicious.

Every fall we make several trips up to the Hendersonville, NC area to purchase apples. We go most often to Lyda Farms. We eat a lot of them raw and I use some for some of our favorite apple dishes such as apple pie, apple dumplings, etc. After a while the apples start to shrivel up a bit and then it's time to make applesauce.

Today I used up the last of the fall apples and made a batch of applesauce and some apple butter. One tool that we purchased many years ago makes making applesauce a lot easier - the Victorio Strainer.

Here's the process:

Wash the apples and remove any leaves.

picture of apples

Cut the apples in quarters and remove any bad spots.

picture of apples

Place in cooking pots with a small amount of water and cook until they are very tender - the cut surfaces will look fluffy.

picture of apples

Assemble the Victorio Strainer.

picture of strainer

Place the cooked apples in the hopper and crank the handle.

The applesauce comes out of one side and the peels, cores, and stems come out the other!

picture of strainer

Sweeten to taste, place in jars, and process in a hot water bath.

Here are the finished jars. This should keep the doctor away for some time.

picture of sauce

Becka


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