Archive for the ‘Canning’ Category

I recently had a bit of extra money.

Okay, so it wasn’t “extra” I wanted to spend it on food storage but I didnt decide until I was thinking about pressure canning a little over a week ago. My father in law gave me a couple of pressure canners about a year ago. I have been putting off using them because they are old, and the guages are daunting. I was afraid that they would be off, and they way that my pressure canner gauges is different than my smaller new one (or any of the others I see online, except the ones that are antiques like mine.)

For several months my father-in-law, then my guy told me that they would get me pressure gauges but they never seemed to get around to it. Recently one of my prepper friends told me that I should just test my All American Pressure Canner, because they are very reliable and accurate. I also found out that they sell everything to replace all the parts on their website.

So I test it, although I have to adjust the temp often and tap the gauge occasionally to ensure its accurately telling me the pressure it seemed to be working very well.

After I tested it, when I made the chili, I didn’t have to adjust the temp on the stove as often, I think it may be a matter of getting used to it, finding what works with your stove, and with your gear.

I digress.

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So this is a question I posed to myself about 6 months ago. I don’t like regular prepackaged salsa and the salsa you buy in the store always tastes… not so fresh.

I’m known for my salsa. Well its not mine. I will explain where I got my amazing recipe, even though I will not share it here (I’ll give it to you if you email me) My friend Inez made it for me, all the time, Whenever we had a get together. One year for my birthday, she brought a grocery bag with the ingredients in it, rather than the salsa and she proceeded to show me how to make it, for my present. :)

Inez learned how to make it from her ex-husbands mother (from central Mexico) her son loved it so much that she wanted  to make sure her son could have it all the time, so she taught Inez. Yay for me… right?

I’ve since tweaked the recipe – made it my own.  Not that I didn’t love Inez’s salsa, I just like more garlic,  and a little more cilantro is all.

So now, whenever we have a game night, or a BBQ, or any get together I make salsa. When I don’t I am asked why I didn’t. I normally make a big batch and keep it in the fridge.

Sometimes I am busy though. tomatoes are better late spring/early summer. What if I didn’t have all the fresh ingredients I needed. And now, I worry about the shit hitting the fan….I refuse to store prepackaged salsa, like I said before, its gross and over cooked to me.

I spent sometime online researching my question. I found a few recipes, but the salsa was so heavily cooked it almost ended up being pasta sauce instead of salsa, and to me, that’s just not what I think of when I think of good salsa. I like the fresh taste.

So D recommended that I speak to one of is friends about it and he said that with the amount of acid from the tomatoes and the lemon juice you can just heat the salsa just to the point of boiling, pack it, and place in the water bath for 12-15 minutes and there ya go.

So I tried it out. It IS a little different from my fresh salsa – but FAR superior to any prepackaged salsa I’ve ever had. You should consider canning your own salsa…. If you haven’t made your own salsa, its not as hard as you might think and fresh is fabulous!!!

So yesterday I picked up the netted bag I’d purchased the day before of peaches from the “Fresh and Easy” market down the road from where I live. I totally love shopping at that store. But I think, because of the heat the peaches were angry because overnight they got so soft, and some of them had spots on them.

Now granted, they were relatively small and werent hard to begin with, but they went south fast. So I parboiled them, and peeled them, mashed them up and made jam with them.

the recipe I used, is as follows:

Sweet Peach Jam

Juice of 1 medium lemon

3 cups mashed peaches (about 2-2 1/2 pounds)

3/4 cup peach Schnapps

1 pouch liquid pectin (3 ounces)

7 cups sugar

I was afraid it wouldn’t gel with so much liquid but it did. It doesnt taste anything like alcohol and I boiled it for 7 minutes or so, so I am sure there isnt any actual alcohol left in it. But it really really does give a lot of peach flavor.

I processed it, in 15, 4oz Kerr Jars. I decided to make it in smaller jars because I wasnt sure what I would use it for (other than making thumbprint cookies and maybe adding to a chicken marinade for some dish.)

A while ago, someone suggested smaller jars for smaller batches so that I could kind of test of flavors and recipes, and be able to give them out and let more people try them while not spending more incase they didnt like them. Also I think that being able to make several flavors in the small jars will be awesome because then I can give 3 or 4 jars away at a time in sampler sets. which may be awesome for Christmas.

D has a huge family and they always do a Christmas thing, no need to remind me, I am still away that I am a Jew, but I do give gifts to my children for Christmas, its about family and fun for us, not religion.

So, its super yummy, amazing really. But even D asked me what the heck I was doing making Jam on SUCH a hot day. I told him, its either today or not at all tomorrow the peaches will be dust. (Ok maybe not that bad, but gross enough to not want to make them into something else.)

A friend of mine is doing a Water Bath Canning party.  Just a canning 101 kind of deal to give the basics.

She asked me if I would like to talk a little bit about food storage. Why to store food, and where to begin. I haven’t ever really done anything like that before but I am totally happy to talk to people about doing food storage and explain why it is SOOOOO important.

Send me a personal message at phedrespaz at g mail dot com (please forgive me, I prefer not to add links for my email on my blog due to spammers) My friend who is throw this shindig is going to give me a free gift to give away to some lucky email entry! It comes with a bunch of coupons for canning as well.

Awesome, right? So shoot me an email and I will let you know how the talk goes.   :)