Thursday, February 26, 2015

Into da cannah!

This morning I woke up with a mission... to can the remaining broth that I made yesterday.  Note: I was full of angst because I've only pressure canned tomatoes (and then found out I could have water bath canned them!)  Pressure canning can be intimidating, but now that I've done it, I feel good.

First I had to strain out all the bones and used up veggies.  I was in a hurry to get those out with the trash (we don't have a composter yet!) but I shouldn't have let that worry me as the trash man commeth while I was still asleep apparently.  sigh!  Now it shall sitteh until next week.  phoey!

After that I cranked up the heat and got my canning supplies ready...hoping I had enough to do this with...I should really keep inventory better.  :p  I had plenty.

I think that "things boil quicker at high altitude" thing is a myth...or at least while you're waiting on it.  It took forever to get the already hot water to boil to get the jars ready.  (for you non-canner folk you have to heat up the jars slowly by boiling water in them or they'll crack when you put in your hot food... you can do this in the oven as well, but for me that's awkward!)

Finally got the jars hot and then started filling them.  Since I don't know how many jars I'll need, I go ahead and heat up all that my canner will hold.  This also helps with spacing when I'm canning as I can just leave the "empty" jars (empty of food, but full of water) in the canner so none of the jars move around.  Grab a jar, empty the water, fill with broth, close it up and put it back into the canner.  repeat until out of broth.  For me that was 4 quart jars!  I went with quarts because most of my soup recipes call for at least a quart of broth if not more.

I'll spare you the details of the actual canning procedure...if you wanna know, go to the googles.  ;)

This was my first time canning broth (not my last as this was kinda fun).  When the pressure cooker came down and I got the lid off, I got to watch my broth boiling in the sealed jars for quite a while.  Cool.

I would show you a picture of my lovely canned broth, but I make what I call "dirty" broth... I don't strain it through cheese cloth and there are bits of the meat and veggies still in it isn't all that pretty to look at.  But I know it's full of good nutrition and flavor...and that's what I'm after!

If this cold weather keeps up, I'll go ahead and can some beef and ham broth too.  Although, I'll probably use all this broth up making soups to keep us warm.  :-/

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I get for mocking the weather

more snow!  LOL!  It isn't really that much snow again, but it is snowing.

I woke up this morning thinking... I should make some Chicken broth.  Okay to tell the truth, what I really wanted was Chicken Tortilla soup.  For that I needed broth.  So off to work...ish.

As my coffee was brewing, I grabbed two chicken carcasses out of the freezer (yes, I save such things!)  While digging around, I also grabbed a bag of vegetable peelings and a bag of shredded zucchini.  Then from the frig, I got some celery and carrots.  Then from the counter, two onions.  I tossed them all into my stock pot, added some garlic salt (since I never have any real garlic on hand) and some poultry seasoning, peppercorn, and two bay leaves.  Covered the mess with water and enjoyed my coffee, while it came up to a boil and then turned down to a simmer for the day.

When Darly got up, I gave her 3 choices for our dinner...
1) Pizza at church  (mid-week Lenten service!)
2) Chicken Tortilla soup then go to church
3) Chicken Tortilla soup and no church.

She picked the soup and would decide on church it turned out, she didn't have to make that choice... church was cancelled due to the snow.

The soup was perfect for a snowy day.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The massive snow storm

that wasn't!

Our local weather quacks were predicting our first winter blizzard.  Batten down the hatches bring in the animals kind of bad.  Folks were rushing to the stores to stock up on all the important supplies... milk, bread... and apparently bananas!
(Image by Susan Richards)

My friends and husband reported that it was a zoo out there!  Luckily I had already gone to the store and didn't need to rush out to stock up.

This was supposed to start out as freezing rain yesterday... it didn't.

We were supposed to have some accumulation today... there's maybe 3 inches in the grass, but it's melting off the roads.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the big day of this.  Honestly I don't put much faith in our local weather quacks.  It seems that their crystal balls don't really work that well and that just sticking your hand outside the door or looking out the window is a much better predictor of the weather.