I’ve been out of the kitchen since my unfortunate incident with the sharp knife, at least for canning. (Dinner and breakfast not withstanding.) But on Thursday, I made tacos for dinner and made extra, so we could put it up. We ended up with left overs and 2 pint jars of taco meat for canning – those are in the pressure canner right now.
I’ve been watching this very amusing show called “Doomsday Preppers” on the National Geographic channel. While we prep, we are no-where NEAR that intense or, frankly crazy, about it. While I’m sure that the show’s producers contributed immensly to the crazy factor there, I have to think, “HOW THE HECK do the folks with 3+ years of food storage actually rotate their food?”
The couple of good things we did get from the show are these:
- I LOVE the garden pool guy. If we lived in a warmer climate, we’d do that too. But we don’t, so we can’t.
- Make extra for dinner and can it . Honestly hadn’t thought of that one, but it’s worth repeating. So we’re doing it.
One of the other things I’ve picked up over the years I’ve been canning is that there is a winter season for canning. In the winter, I make pressure canned stuff. It helps to heat the house. Here is a partial list of the things I can in that season:
- Dry beans to ready-to-go
- Stocks, beef & chicken, mostly, though we do have vast shelf of Turkey stock for my husband, who’s not yet used any of it.
- Lemon products
- Dinners – meaty things, Sloppy Joes, Chili, Taco mix, etc.
Today I’m making chicken stock. How I do this is as follows:
Every time I make chicken or steak for dinner, I trim the meat up and put it into the freezer in a plastic zip-lock – that way, I don’t have to waste a good piece of meat to make the stock.
When I’ve got a full bag, I drop it into my biggest stock pot, which is 4-5 gallons.
I add many of the following, depending on what I’ve got around in the kitchen.
- Bay leaf
- Green Pepper
- Pepper corn
If you have none of these items, that’s ok too, just plan to use the stock for flavoring, rather than on it’s own. Plain stock is GREAT for flavoring rice.
Then, I go one of two directions. I either boil it all afternoon or, once it’s defrosted and I’m done with the pressure cooker for the tacos, I transfer the stock to the pressure cooker and cook it down there for about anohour. This afternoon, I’m using the pressure cooker method. In the pressure cooker, I’ll let it ride for an hour at around 10 lbs pressure – timing and pressure are not particularly important here, you could simply let it ride for a while and then check it.
The chicken and veg get fed to my cats or go into a soup. If you wanted, you could also can them up at this point.
When it’s done cooking, I strain it back into the original stock pot and let the liquid compeltely cool. The next day, the chicken fat willl be removed for schmaltz.
Ladle into quart jars & cook. Process @ 10 lbs pressure for 90 minutes. Then you get this!