Yes, it was THAT time of year again folks. Jimmy Canned Corn with lots of helpers! We bought 10 dozen ears of the finest organic sweet corn from farmer M. It was picked at 8 a.m., shucked at 9:00 and safely pressure canned before lunch.
Just cut off the kernels with a sharp knife, pack them uncooked into pint or quart jars, top with boiling water or veggie stock, leaving a generous inch of headspace, and pressure can them according to your guidebook.
Do your pressure canning outdoors in the garage because it’s 100 degrees out and the old air conditioner inside can already barely keep up.
Let the jars cool for a day and then wash off the hard water deposits left behind during canning. Don’t store them with the rings on, just the flat part of the lid. The rings need to be washed again right now, and if you leave them on all year, some of the jars will be really hard to open, and some lids might even rust through, unsealing.
I harvested my beets a few days ago. I didn’t get any pictures of them with their tops still attached, but they filled two half-bushel baskets. I planted six 8-foot rows, and my root harvest is shown below.
Cut off the tops! Eat them if you like greens.
Wash off the dirt!
Put the washed beets in a pot (or two) and boil them for about 20 minutes to make the skin really lose and easy to peel.
The skin will slip right off, along with the stem stubs.
Peeling in a messy step.
Get your recipe book and spices together!
Combine the beets with the vinegar, sugar, spices, whatever is in your canning recipe and boil them again.
Get your canning jars and lids simmering, and then fill the jars with the hot beet mixture.
Process your beets for 20 minutes (for pints) in a boiling water bath.
From six 8-foot rows of beet seeds I canned 1 gallon of beet roots.
The last time I canned beets I skimmed off the spices. This time I canned the spices into the jar. I want to see which way I like better. I keep notes in my cook books.
The 4 Okra plants that I am growing in my garden had a slow start in their somewhat shady location behind the faster growing garlic leaves. One is finally starting to flower. I am still hoping for enough okra to pickle at least one jar.
I pulled my cherries out of the freezer the other night, and got out my new cherry pitter. I pitted the fruit until I had a full quart of pitted cherries and then I tossed in a small handful of raspberries I had picked that same night. I was going to include a number of blackberries, but my wife ate them while I pitted the cherries.
I ended up water-bath processing 7 four-ounce jars, 1 half-pint jar (shown in the photo), and two jars that went straight to the refrigerator. It’s delicious jam!
Every year for the last few years we have canned a bushel of peaches. We live within a day’s drive of Calhoun County Missouri, and many roadside vendors sell them throughout the area.
I canned this year’s bushel with a light sugar syrup and used a hot pack/water bath.
Another use for leftover sweet corn cobs is as a sweetener for vegetable stock. Using a recipe I found online, I mixed a pot full of sweet corn cobs with onion, thyme, pepper, carrots, garlic, celery and etc. These were boiled and then simmered for about two hours.
I made two big stock pots of this stuff and ended up able to pressure can over 2 gallons for future use.
We canned corn again, plus a lot of other things that I haven’t shown you in the last month or so. My shelves are nearly full again, and I still haven’t processed any peaches, pears or apples yet this year.
- 15 quarts of sweet corn (110 ears)
- 28 quarts of tomatoes (63 pounds)
- 15 more pints of pizza sauce (we love it!)
- 6 more half-pints of relish
- Another batch of pepper jelly
- Many more pickled peppers
Watch for my next post, where you can learn what I have done with my leftover corn cobs.
I made some homemade canned cat food today. Yummers!
As we ate the CSA chickens for the last few months I had been saving the hearts, livers and gizzards in the freezer. I was trying to build up the nerve to deep fry them and have them on Superbowl Sunday. I chickened out, pun intended.
Today we cooked our CSA turkey and it had VERY BIG guts! I decided it was time to do something with my large collection of internal organs.
My cat eats dry cat food 90% of the time, and that number would be even higher if he didn’t catch the occasional mouse in the yard. He’s already getting all the nutrition he needs, I just wanted to make him a tasty snack.
I defrosted all the livers, gizzards and hearts and boiled them until they were mostly done. I put all the “meat” through an antique cast iron meat grinder and then ran the last of it through with a couple pieces of wheat bread. I added about 35% rice to the mixture and then pressure canned it in cute little 4 ounce canning jars.
Home made cat food! Hooray!
Have you seen this product yet? The company that makes these re-useable canning lids was kind enough to send me a sample box.
They cost 3 or 4 times as much as the traditional throw-away canning lid flats, but the whole thing, including the rubber band, is indefinitely re-useable. In fact, the owner of the company still has some of the original batch that was made in the mid 1970′s and is still re-using them (even the rubber rings!).
You use the same metal bands to close the lids when you are prepping the jars for the water bath or pressure cooker, but instead of a nice finger-tight seal you have to back them off a quarter-inch to allow them to vent when they are processing.
After the jars have been in the canner long enough, the lids are retightened when they are removed from the water.
As you can see, they form a very tight seal. Granted, I used half-pint jars for this Cinnamon Apple Cider jelly (they aren’t very heavy) for my first test, but I held this jar up by the edges of the white lid for about a minute while I fiddled with the camera settings with the other hand. It’s a tight seal.
I just used a few of the Tattler lids on this batch because I want to try them with a variety of jar sizes and I also want to try them with pressure canning. Hence the reason this post is titled “Part 1″.
The Tattler lids are BPA-free, which is not something you can say about all canning lids. Any of the metal canning lids with the white under-coating contain BPA. Yep. But not these.
Apparently a delicious veggie stock can be made from the sweet corn cobs left over after canning fresh sweet corn. I’m a bit sad that I didn’t know this much sooner. Now I just need to remember for next year.