A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


June 20, 2012

A Bountiful Harvest!

     I have definitely been bitten by the canning bug!  Ever since taking the class a couple of weeks ago, I have been canning everything I can get my hands on.  Last week I canned 14 pints of meat; I cleaned out my freezer and all those chuck roasts and sirloin steaks that tend to get shoved to the bottom of the freezer are now sitting in my pantry.  Peace-Loving Warrior and I ate the initial pint that I canned in the class and we thought we had died and gone to heaven.  I simmered the meat in brown gravy and served it over brown rice.  It tasted like roast beef that had been slow-cooked all day!  It was so tender that it fell apart as soon as my fork touched it.  And I have to admit, it won't win any beauty contests in the jar.  Most people turn their noses up when they see it, but take it from me, they are missing out!
     Earlier this week I went on a canning binge...... once again I cleaned out my freezer and combined my frozen raspberries and strawberries and made jam.  I also canned jalapeños from my garden, home-made salsa, and spaghetti sauce.  My garden didn't produce as many tomatoes as I would have liked, so I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of my neighbor's largesse.  Thanks to Steve and Debbie, I was able to put their generosity to good use.  The photos below will give you an idea of how I spent my day:

Raspberries simmering on the stove

Jalapenos fresh from the garden
Salsa, ready to be canned
Spaghetti sauce bubbling in my husband's grandfather's pot.
He was a canner extraordinare!  He would be so proud of us!
(From left to right)  Raspberry jam, Salsa, Jalapeño slices, Spaghetti Sauce.
All in a day's work!

     It's amazing how fulfilling it is to spend a day in the kitchen slicing, dicing and stirring.  When you see those containers come out of the canner, you are seeing good health and well-being in a jar.  You know exactly what is in those jars and where it came from.  It's like it came straight from God!  So that's my tip for you..... in the midst of the chaos and the uncertainty, you can bring some stability and goodness into your home.  You've done something worthwhile for your family; both beneficial and nourishing.  And you certainly aren't getting that anywhere else!  Bon appetit!

1 Timothy 4:6       "If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed."








9 comments:

  1. I am so proud of you. Yes, canning and processing is hard work, but in the end, the rewards are beyond anything in the world.
    I have to order several new parts for my pressure canners and then I will be ready to go. I am a ways from tomatoes but from the looks of the garden and prayers to the Almighty to not send any hail, I will have a beautiful harvest, and a full pantry this year. I have some meat and chicken in thr freezer, and I think thats what is in the plans the end of this month.
    Can you share your salsa recipe? I have some hottie peppers and mild this year.
    Many blessing be upon you and yours and your pantry.

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    1. I'll be glad to share my salsa recipe! It's very simple ...... tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeños, cilantro, salt & pepper (all to taste). I add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint jar, or 2 tablespoons per quart, and then steam can for 40 minutes. The Ball canning book actually says 15 minutes, but it calls for 40 minutes for spaghetti sauce and there's not much difference. I'd rather be safe than sorry! I am so happy to be resurrecting my grandmother's pantry!

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    2. Thank you BR. I LOVE salsa's and I like different kinds, especially from where you are at. I don't care for HOT, but I like a little heat with a punch of pepper flavor. I will try this. Thank you. I have to dig around and send you some recipes of mine, which I said I would do, it just seems life gets in the road. I will dig.
      I have added lime juice to mine, I think I need to step it up some. I have some cilantro growing now, as its so hard to find here, and when you do find it, you had better grab it.
      Thank you so much for sharing.

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    3. BR,
      I hate to be a pain, but, a question about your meat processing. When you processed, did you do a raw pack, or pre-cooked a little in broth?
      Meat canning is somewhat of a new one for me, since I did not have a pressure canner until a few years ago. My grandmother raw packed in broth, (beef, chicken, she pre cooked pork for about an hour) and she did fish, generally carp, but only in winter.
      It's funny, I have canned for years, but yet when learning a new skill,(meat) it like treading in a mine field. There is just no interest in it here where I live (canning) for classes and I am not close to old hands who live up in the sandhill north of us to ask these older ranch women.
      I am trying to find my grandmother's pepper spread recipe, it is very simple and you can add or subtract many things and make it yours. I made a sweet pepper spread with a little vinegar, onion, garlic and minced it in a food processor, then put it in small jars and processed for about 35 min in a water bath. It is delicious in chicken or tuna salad or potato salad, or yummy on homemade crackers.
      Blessings and Hold Fast

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    4. It's a raw pack on the meat and SO easy! All I did was cut my raw meat in 1 inch squares, salt and pepper, and cram it as tight as I could in my pint jar. You don't add water or broth; it will make it's own as it pressure cans --- 75 minutes for pints, 90 minutes for quarts. I haven't tried any other kind of meat yet, but definitely plan on it. And PLEASE send me your grandmother's pepper spread recipe....after you find it, of course! I would love to try it and give you the credit.

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    5. I try to can beef and chicken when they are on sale. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are great canned. I just wash and smash the chicken into the jars, add canning salt, and put on the lids. This makes the best chicken salad ever! Add to that some homemade pickle relish, and it can't be beat.

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    6. I LOVE chicken salad, so can't wait to try this. When I took my canning class, they said they just quarter a chicken and stuff the two breasts and the two thighs/legs into a quart jar and it's the tastiest thing ever. This is definitely on my "to do" list!

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  2. Those are tasty looking canned goods there Belle! I know how you feel when you see it all put up in jars and you know that you grew it yourself and processed it and know what is in it. It's very rewarding in more than one way. There have been times after I processed food that when I look at it, I almost hate to open it because it has some kind of beauty to it, especially jams and jellies! Have you ever made pickled dilly green beans? Those are very tasty and great to have on the table maybe along with a sandwich in the afternoon for lunch. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Yes! I don't really want to open any of them ... they are so beautiful! And I'm gathering all the canning jars I can find. They are becoming a premium and harder to find. And I've heard the pickled dilly green beans mentioned so many times, I'm going to have to try them. Thanks for your input!

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