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What are you canning today? Part 7


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I want to get some chicken breasts for canning... Shelton's farm market in Niles, Michigan (for anyone near there!) has boneless and skinless chicken breasts for $1.38 a pound if you buy a 40-pound case. These things are *huge*, with very little waste, and cook up nicely. They're more like a young turkey breast. I have to slice them lengthwise when I fry them, they're so thick!



Sooooo... what are you canning???? :)




What are you canning today? Part 6





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I just finished up my last two bags of apples from a friend. It made 9 more pints of applesauce.

Yesterday I canned 23 more pints of tomato sauce. I'm through with tomatoes! Any more that manage to ripen without blight rot are getting thrown over the fence for the chickens to enjoy. I've had all I can take of them! :faint3:

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I wanted to respond to MacKinnon's request, it seemed to have gotten 'lost' with the new thread:


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H e l p! :blink:


Ok. Next weekend is Labor Day. My garden didn't do well, so I have nothing from it to work with. BUT I have cleaned up my AA and I have decided I WILL can something next weekend. I do have some questions.


1. I have new weights for it that I ordered awhile back. **Question: Do I need to calibrate it and if so, how do I do that? I could post a picture of what I have for reference if need be.


2. What is a good beginning recipe? I've seen a lot of good ideas on this forum, but I'm not sure what would be a good "first time out". Stephanie suggested beef.


3. I also have the Ball canning set for jams, jellies, etc (the blue speckled pot thing). I would like to make some jams like strawberry, or do apple butter (which I've done years ago using Carla Emery's recipe). I have the books for that, but would appreciate any advice. I'm setting aside next Sunday as my big canning debut.


Meantime, I'll be reading through this thread as well, looking for tips. Thanks y'all, in advance (and for all the posts you've made to guide us newbies in canning!)

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So, for #1, your question leads me to believe that you have a weighted gauge canner. If you do not have a gauge, the weights are already calibrated and you do not ever need to test it. You should, however, check the over-pressure plug and the rubber seal on a yearly basis. If you bend the seal and see cracks, replace it. If the over-pressure plug has no 'give', replace it. They're really cheap to replace. Only if you use the canning gauge for pressure canning do you need to get it checked.


#2 - Seriously, the easiest thing in the world to do for your first pressure can is raw pack chicken or green beans or corn. All you need to do is fill up the jars, slap on a lid and can the food. BUT - follow the directions in the Ball Blue Book for whatever you're canning.


#3 The Ball canning set? You mean the water bath canner with the jar lifters, a lid magnet, a short bubble-freer, and a funnel, and maybe a jar opener? Great- it sounds as if you're set.


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Now for some advice - what sort of stove are you canning on?

What does the bottom of your speckled canner look like? Is it flat or rippled?

If it is rippled, it works best with gas stoves. If it's flat, you can use it on electric.


Did you know that you can use any stock pot with a lid as a water bath canner? You just need to make sure that water covers the jars by 2-3 inches and that you have a rack on the bottom to keep your jars from touching the bottom of the pot. You can use any sort of rack, cake rack, even jar lids wired together.


Do let us know how you did!

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I just joined in to this great forum. I have enjoyed reading for the past few nights. Today I canned 17 quarts of vegetable-barley soup and 3 quarts of ground venison. I have canned a lot this year due to me being disabled and stuck at home with nothing else to do and also due to wanting to be prepared for my family for whatever may happen in the near future.

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Glad you joined us.

Well..... for the barley soup. I have to say this, but barley is not safe to add to soup when canning. It is considered a thickener, and like rice or pasta, another thing that is not safe to add. It will slow down the heat penetration in the soup and the soup is considered underprocessed. Plus, the ph of the barley is not condusive to canning.

Soups are canned without those ingredients and then added once you open the jars to heat the soup up.

If you don't have a current copy of the Ball Blue Book, I would like to suggest you purchase one to help you out. Also, this site is the one we most often recommend for safe home food preserving.

On the left is a place with the different subjects to search. You will find one for soups in the vegetable category.

If you just canned this soup, within 24 hours you can open them up, remove an inch or two and freeze the soup instead so you can salvage it.

If it grows botulism in the jars you cannot see, taste, or smell it. It has no signs.

Please, be careful and freeze the soup. You can freeze right in the jars.


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So, it's been a little busy of late so I've just been reading and not signing in. :rolleyes:


12 pints of tomatoes (from the garden), 3 more pints of peach butter, 10 more pints of plums. I think I finished up the frozen corn for the season but worried that it might not be enough. I feel like the end of season is coming really quickly since the recent "cold" snap we've had.


DH pulled the first of the potatoes out on Sunday so we had them for dinner last night and they ARE so much better than store bought so I think the potatoes will be canned and dehydrated.

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I have one lonely jar of beets and 4 of the teeny 4 oz. jars of pimentos in the canner.


Violet, how do you time things when there are different types of food in the canner? Do you put extra jars in the keep the full ones from tipping over? It would help me to be able to can a few jars at a time when the harvest is small. Like my beets!

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I was up late last night getting my second attempt of Tomato sauce done. I got 14 lovely nice and thick quarts of tomato sauce. AND no exploding olive oil jars. I have another 2 bushels of tomatoes waiting to be fully ripe to do this weekend. I may have at least 2 or 3 more bushel to do after that. Then I am thinking of doing some more apple sauce from my neighbor's tree since he said I could have all the apples he has. I gave all mine away to a very grateful family who plan to make applesauce with the good ones and feed the pigs with the bad ones. It was nice to share them.

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Well, hopefully I can get back to making some more applesauce today. On monday I brought up about 100 pint jars from the basement to wash up for making applesauce and there were about a dozen old antique jars mixed in with them so I set those aside. After I was done canning for the day I went to return the antique jars to the basement and tripped on the way down. I managed to only break half of the jars but also twisted my ankle pretty bad.

Yesterday my second oldest daughter had her second baby (a healthy baby boy :D ) and I was tasked with babysitting my other grandson that just turned one while my wife was up at the hospital with our daughter (her husband is in the military and on a flight on his way home, just missed delivery by 2 hours)

So needless to say I haven't given my ankle much rest but I hope I can put a big pile of apples in front of me today so I can get them ready for sauce making and then have one of my other daughters come and help with the sauce making tonight.

I am sure that one way or another I will manage to get it done. Hopefully this ankle will start feeling better soon, the DW wants me to go to the doctor but I am not pay a doctor a couple hundred dollars to tell me to ice it and take it easy for a couple days.

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I froze 5 quarts of peppers yesterday. Have more banana peppers to freeze but am trying to do them in rings so am freezing them a bit at a time (and I actually stopped working on them to do supper and forgot the tray in the freezer...until now) :blush: Guess I will finish tonight after supper.


Then we have the last patch of corn to pick and freeze plus more tomatoes. Can't decide what to do with these. Maybe just plain old canned tomatoes this time. I have done spaghetti sauce, 2 kinds of salsa, & chili base so far. Tomatoes are slowing down so probably the canned ones would be a good idea. Or if i am really lazy I may just core and quarter them and throw them in freezer bags. We'll see how I feel after work tonight.

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I have one lonely jar of beets and 4 of the teeny 4 oz. jars of pimentos in the canner.


Violet, how do you time things when there are different types of food in the canner? Do you put extra jars in the keep the full ones from tipping over? It would help me to be able to can a few jars at a time when the harvest is small. Like my beets!


I don't have a problem with them tipping over. Once in a while they will "walk" around just a bit and move a little, but no problem. I had the beets that took 30min., the pimentos were 35, so I just left the beets in the extra 5 min. and didn't worry with them. No big deal to let them go another 5 min. At least I didn't throw them out this way.


Jake, sorry about your ankle and the jars .

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I just finished 8 half pts of Carrot Cake Jam - it smells wonderful!!! 7 in the water bath and 1 in my stock pot on the vegetable steamer. :D Need to run and pick up some beef and cheese (can't find in the freezer because there is so much in there) so I'm going to pick up hot peppers and do those tonight and save some to do salsa (putting it off) since we'll be out.

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Did 8 half pints of peach chutney (www.recipezaar.com recipe # 30555) and 9 half pints, one full pint and 2 4oz jars of chutney (Ran out of halfs. :blush:) and a couple more pints of just regular canned peaches. Now I've about finished with that lug-- I have a few left for a cobbler tonight. I am most pleased to report that even after 12 hours in transit getting here, I didn't loose a single peach to bruising or decay!! Had to trim a few for bruises but that was it! :)

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