Thursday, September 9, 2010

Home Preserving

This is almost my favorite time of year, I love when the weather startss to turn cool, and you need to wear a sweater and your slippers just to get your coffee from the kitchen.  It was nice and cold this morning when i got up and even colder the night before.  I can't wait to dust off my peacoats that are patiently waiting in the back of my closet, and get our my scarves and handwarmers. :)  I love fall. 

With the end of summer also brings its time for canning and freezing of goods.  So far this summer we have put away tuna, and fresh corn and tomatos. This weekend I am canning come tomatos with basil, some EVOO sauce (which is tomatos, garlic, basil, and olive oil)  and tomorrow I am going to make some pickled jalapenos with Jacque Swift. :) Super excited. She is going to teach me how to make them her way. Jerrod loves her jalapenos so this will be a good one to add to my recipe book. Hopefully I can remember to write it all down. 
Presto Canner
(Like the one I got)
All-American Canner
(Like my mom's, the one I want)
So we bought a canner this spring with the hopes that I'd learn to use it and be able to can on my own by fall, well we tried out this so called canner, which is totally different then the one that I grew up using, it was a Presto instead of an All-American, and it had weights instead of a pressure gauge.  I grew up watching  my mom can everything, from Venison to chili, to spaghetti to salsa to garlicky beans.  Mom canned everything, and I didnt appreciate all the hard work she put into this untill I started getting old enough to actually help her. Around age 11 I started helping with the actual process of preserving the food, and started to realize how rewarding it is.  To be able to go into your pantry and look at all the glass jars of delicious healthy food that you saved for your family is amazing.  I am so thankful that my mom canned and that I was able to learn these skills from her. Its amazing how little families home preserve anymore. Sure lots of people make jam or jelly, but very few go beyond that. Alot of people dont can their own meat or even their own sauce.  I have been lucky enough to have been fed homegrown food for almost my entire life, sure there are certain things that we have to get from the store because we just dont/cant make them, but for a large majority we have it ourselves. Ask any of my friends that have been in the pantry and they will attest to the variety of food that is in there. 

Whats so nice about it is, say one weekend you make a HUGE pot of spaghetti and I mean a huge pot, you take some out for dinner for a few nights, and then the rest you put into jars and can, and then someday down the road, all you have to do it pour whats in that jar into a pot, and you know that its going to taste great, unlike some of those jars of spag sauce you get from the store.  Maybe its just me but Prego just doesnt to it for me.  Also I great thing to can is chicken noodle soup. My mom will make a big pot just for canning so when we're sick we can have some good soup instead of some condensed soup with imitation chicken pieces. 

If anyone has ever had REAL canned Albacore instead of the pink stuff the try to convince you is tuna in the tiny metal cans, you will have a really hard time going back to that pink meat.  I dont even know the last time that I had tuna from a can, its just not the same. I guess you can call me spoiled, but I would rather spend the extra money on the real thing and spend the time putting it away so that I can have something thats healthier and better tasting. :) But thats just me.

Also on my food preserving list of things yet to do this winter are:
Can tomatos with/out basil
Can tomato sauce
Freeze anahiems
Freeze blackberries
Make apple juice
Plant garlic for next year ( something I'm extremely excited about)
And anything else I can get my hands on

I think I am going to have to save up to buy myself a canner with a pressure gauge, I've been thinking about it lately with my mom, and since its what I've grown up using, I think its what I want, and I will try to get the stupid Presto one fixed.  When we tried to use it a few weeks ago, we were waiting for the pressure to build inside and we noticed that it was leaking steam from all sorts of places, so hopefully its just the seal and that can be replaced. So hopefully we'll get it fixed and it can be my backup/second canner.

I think thats enough for now.  Now for some pictures!

Goodnight! :) F&A

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