Let the Madness Begin



I made a couple of quarts of dill pickles the other night and was commenting to my sister about what hot work canning is.  I do most of my canning in August when everything seems to come in at the same time in the garden.  This weekend I will probably can some new potatoes.  I’d like to do some salsa but that never seems to make it into a jar once the prep is done, it’s too good fresh.

Peaches are just starting to come in so I may do up some of them as well.  Diced this year, yes a lot of work but worth it in January.  Most of the time I just halve them and pack a jar in light syrup but I’m the only one who ends up eating them and a pint of peach halves is too much for me.  Diced ones I can just throw into my cottage cheese – nothing yummier.

Pesto, tomatoes of every kind, beans, pickles, relishes, these are all the things that I expect to have to eat each winter so the pressure is on now to get it done.

At the end of last winter I cooked a smoked turkey that I had bought from Pekarskis.  There were not a lot of people who were there to eat it and there is a lot of meat on an 18 pound turkey (it was a lovely free range bird as well).  I cut all of the meat off of it, made a stock of the bones and canned it in pints.  There were about 15 I recall.  This canned turkey has been one of the best experiments in canning ever.  I use it in jambalaya or black beans and rice and it is spectacular.  Not only does it taste wonderful with a great texture it is the ultimate convenience food.  This was my first foray into canning meat but will not be my last.

I think anyone who is considering canning should make that leap into a pressure canner.  Yes they are expensive but canning with a hot water bath limits you to high acid or sugared fruits.  I know once I got over the initial fear of the thing my canning options were exponentially expanded, it seems like there is nothing I can’t can now.  Pressure canning is faster and safer and helps you diversify your larder.  There is nothing better that wondering what’s for dinner, opening your canning closet and seeing choices.

2 thoughts on “Let the Madness Begin

  1. My grandmother always canned chicken and pork sausage. It was great how she could come up with a meal in 20 minutes and never owned a microwave. Oh how I remember those meals at her place. Perhaps a pressure cooker would be the way to recapture those days. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I am hoping that peaches are still in season when I have a kitchen to can them in!!! Our favorite is peache halves in a light syrup – – – with about 3 cloves in it. The peaches sit in a dark closet until January and those tiny cloves add a lovely flavor…. My husband adores them. I also freeze peache slices for peach upside down cake. Canning and preserving is so much work, but so worth it!

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