Monthly Archives: August 2012

Canning Classes and HOT Pickled Peppers!

That’s me in the salmon shirt at the stove. Isn’t my friend Sarah’s kitchen amazing? It really was the perfect gathering place for 20+ women.

Monday night I was honored to be asked to teach a canning class for my church’s Mom’s Group, MOMentum, at the home of a new friend.  I knew about this class several months ago, a fact that did not discourage me from my typical procrastinating style.  I started thinking about the class a week in advance, but it wasn’t until about a day before the actual class that I finally decided on WHAT to can!  I had to keep it simple since it was an introductory class, I also needed to keep it short since it was an evening class and well, everyone has lives outside of food preservation.

Some of the lovely ladies at the class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, my fabulous in-laws gifted me with an entire bowl of what we all thought were banana peppers.  I discovered this honest mistake at the expense of my poor one-year-old’s reaction to chomping down on a pepper ring.  I quickly tasted the offending ring and realized that this was no innocent banana pepper!  This baby was HOT!  And my baby was MAD!  I’m pretty sure she’s scarred for life over peppers, and there’s a good chance she’ll never trust me again.  Mama duped her, ain’t no two ways about it!

Another shot of this gorgeous stove, and me trying to look nonchalant. I really don’t think “nonchalant” is a word anyone would use to describe me, no matter how hard I try to achieve the appearance of such. (Yes, I’m aware of the oxymoron there)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, I digress.  So I settled on pickling these spicy peppers since I had them, and also because the recipe is simple, and they only needed to process for 10 minutes.  Perfect!  I washed and cut them all into rings before the class.  I brought samples of everything I have canned this year, which looked kinda cool on my friend’s counter, I have to admit.  I brought my pressure canner, mostly because I wanted to show it off, but also because I really have no desire to use my “borrowed” boiling-water canner anymore.  The pressure canner is taller, and I never have the concern that it will boil over like I did with the boiling-water canner.  Since I can use my pressure canner AS a boiling-water canner, why not?

Sarah, our host, teaching us about how to make delicious, healthy smoothies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The class went well!  I’m not a natural teacher, despite the fact that I used to be a musical theater actress in high school and college.  I get wildly nervous standing on the same floor as my peers, trying to get information from my brain out of my mouth in a coherent manner.  Being up on a stage with rehearsed lines… way different.  At any rate, we all had a lot of fun, and I think I was able to sputter out the basic steps of canning.

It did occur to me, however, that although the steps are usually included with my recipes in my posts, I really should have a specific page dedicated to them.

More harvest posts are coming as well, I have been canning nearly every day for about two weeks and have lots to share with you!  For now, here is the recipe for Hot Pickled Peppers!

Hot Pickled Peppers (Recipe adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

What you will need:

  • 2 lbs hot yellow peppers
  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Directions:

  1. Heat jars in boiling-water canner
  2. Place lids in small saucepan, simmer (not boil) until ready to use
  3. Wash peppers and slice into rings.  Consider wearing gloves while doing this step, otherwise avoid touching anything on your face for the rest of the day!
  4. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water and garlic.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes, until garlic flavor has infused the liquid.  Discard garlic.
  5. Pack peppers into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch (1 cm) headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if necessary.  Wipe rim, center lid on jar.  Fingertip-tighten rings.
  6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are covered by water by at least 1 inch.  Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat, remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars to a towel on the counter, cool, label and store.

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Categories: Canning, High-Acid | Tags: , , , , , ,

So I have These Two Chickens…

Do you find yourself starting sentences like that often?  No?  Just me?

I’m sorry for the big gap in posts.  I’ve been distracted lately with a $5 garage sale find…a Sunbeam BreadMaker!  I definitely have a crush on it…I never thought I’d get into owning a breadmaker, but I find that I am completely sold on it.  It’s once of the many pleasures of life I never knew I was missing out on!  My house has been smelling like freshly baked bread for two weeks now…I’m definitely addicted!

Well anyway, I have these two chickens in the freezer.  Had.  Past tense.  Now they’re in jars in my cupboards.  I thought I’d do a public service announcement and let you all know exactly how much product – and the easiest way to do it – you can get from two chickens.

You will need a pressure canner if you want to can chicken broth or meat.  Otherwise, you can freeze your bounty in baggies or freezer-safe jars just fine.

Here’s what I get from stewing two whole chickens:

  • 7 quarts of chicken stock (I technically got 10, but since I could only can 7 at a time, I chose to make the other 3 into soups and froze them)
  • 3 quarts of Italian Wedding Soup
  • 6 pints of shredded chicken meat, great for soups, casseroles, chicken salad, etc!

This post will take you to a tutorial on how to can chicken broth.  (This was my first post on pressure canning…I’ve learned a lot since then!  I no longer add chicken to the broth nor do I add noodles.  I just find that I use broth so often in cooking and I don’t always want chicken with it.  You can add chicken to the broth if it is more convenient for you to do so, but I do advise against adding noodles.  They just don’t hold up, sadly.  If you don’t add chicken, the broth only needs to process for 25 minutes.)  This is actually a better description of the process, with lots of helpful tips!  Below are the instructions for canning the chicken meat.

Canning Chicken

What You Will Need:

  • Meat from 2 stewed chickens
  • Pressure Canner
  • 6 Pint Jars or 3 Quart Jars

Directions:

Prepare pressure canner by making sure there are at least 3 inches of water in the bottom.  This is a good time to apply a thin coat of olive oil to where the lid and pot meet as well.  Bring to a boil on the stove.  In a separate pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, and in a third pan, simmer the lids.  Heat jars in the oven at 225*.  When everything is hot/boiling/simmering, fill jars with chicken meat.  (Meat doesn’t have to be hot.)  Ladle boiling water into the jars, leaving a 1″ headspace.  Swish plastic tool around to release air bubble.  Wipe rims with vinegar.  Apply lids and tighten bands.  Place in pressure canner and lock lid.  Allow canner to vent 10 minutes, then set gauge to 10lbs.  Once pressure is achieved, process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes.  Turn off heat, let pressure return to zero on it’s own.  Wait 2 more minutes, then remove gauge and lid.  Let jars sit in the hot water for 10 minutes, then remove jars to a towel on the counter.  Let cool completely, then wipe lids with a damp cloth, label jars and store!

 

You feel pretty cool now, don’t you?  Stay tuned, fellow preservers!  It’s canning season, and as things are coming ripe in my garden, I will share more experiences!  (You know, if I can quit harassing my breadmaker…)  Coming soon:  Pickled watermelon rinds, green and wax beans, dill pickles, tomato sauce and other tomato products!

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