Friday, October 8, 2010
The canning season is winding down and here in Warren Co Pa most foods were a bumper crop. Since moving here to our new home 2 yrs ago we still don't have a garden...that is next spring's project,after all Rome wasn't built in a day ya know!
I have had to...for the first time in 33 years resort to buying my produce. I found it very easy and economical with all the local farmers and farmer's markets. Everything was perfect and most were raised organically which is how we garden...always have always will (we were "hip" back in the day and didn't even know it!)
In the next few weeks I will show you some of the "Fruits of my labor" and fill you in on some handy canning tips and other Foodie Friday adventures.
This week I'm showing you what can be done with a few basic ingredients. I made this soup/chili with the thought of being able to use it in a variety of dishes.
I do my canning sort of unconventional...in other words I do it My Way!
I use a water canner even though some say you should use a pressure cooker,which I have but I simply don't like using it.
In my chili I used:
**I cooked this for 2 hrs in my large stockpot**
2 cups fresh corn right off the cob
5 large carrots
3 green peppers
2 hot peppers
3 large onions
1 cup red kidney beans
2 cups black beans
(the beans were dry and I simply followed the directions on the package. I used Wegmans' dried organic beans)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley chopped
about 3 tlbs chili powder...make sure it is fresh and high quality...it makes a difference!
salt and pepper and what ever other seasonings you like
If you want a thicker chili just add more tomato paste...it's up to you.
Make sure your mason jars are very clean and free of any chips around the top. Using a funnel fill jars with your soup. In the mean time boil your lids and rims in a pot,being very careful when you remove them...they make handy dandy magnets that will take them out. I don't have one but after 33 yrs of canning I kind of have my own system!
Fill jars only to just below the bottom ring,wipe them off and use a linen not terrycloth so you don't leave any fuzzies...when putting the lid and rims on make sure to tighten them as far as they will go.
Put in your canner and fill with water to well above the highest jar...you will be processing these for 3 hrs so keep a eye on it to make sure your water remains over the lids.
You start timing when it comes to a rolling boil...and yes it seems like a long time but hey good things come to those who wait!
When removing the jars be very,very careful...you are dealing with boiling water remember. Use your canning grippers and put the jars on a towel on the back of the cupboard...DO NOT TOUCH FOR AT LEAST 12 HRS! I cover my jars with another towel,but I don't think this is really a must...I just do it because my grandma told me to!
You will soon start to hear the great little pops of the lids sealing!
Now stand back and take a look at your efforts...it really is a satisfying feeling...and you know what is in it!!