Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Who came up with this idea?

I was having some friends over to swim and we got to talking about food and preservatives.  One thing lead to another and one of my friends mentioned she has canning supplies and wants to learn how to can fruits and veggies.  We discussed the notion of going to local farmer's markets to get whatever is in season.  Peaches, humm sounds good.  We also talked about dehydrating foods and vaccum sealing stuff.  Kerry has all the canning supplies and vaccum sealer stuff.  I have a dehydrater.  We scheduled to meet in the in a few days.   I was in charge of getting jars, easy enough.  Well Kerry got the jars since she was out shopping anyways.  Easier.  Donna gets the peaches and tomatoes, Kerry gets the meat for beef jerky.  Ready as we'll ever be...
No, not at all!
We find out we all have glass top electric stoves!!  Not recommended in using a canner on glasstops the hot hot temps will crack the glass.  No bueno.
We now begin the hunt for an alternative method.  Cookstove with two burners, expensive!
We decide to get single burner cooktop thingies we used in the dorms back in the day.  Internet says to use two right next to each other set on high. 

First clean tomatoes, drop them in boiling water and then into ice cold water and peel the skins off.
Cut in quaters, fill jars, and seal.  Now ready for the hot boiling bath... this is called "canning".  Fun.

7 quart jars of tomatoes!

Next comes the peaches...  same - wash clean, drop in boiling water, ice cold water, peel, cut & pit.  Well the peeling wasn't easy and pitting them was even harder! 

But, finally got them pitted and cut, filled the jars with peaches and a sugar syrup. Into the canner and ta da ... canned peaches!! 

Next, beef jerky...
Kerry had the butcher slice the meat and she marinated over night.
Place the meat in the dehydrater and wait...easy enough.

Okay it wasn't as easy as I make it sound...
We didn't really do enough research. Peaches wouldn't peel easy, how long do we leave in boiling water, how long in cold water, how to slice, how much liquid/syrup, did we seal the lids on tight enough, water in the canner won't come to a boil!
It's so funny cuz Tom's family has been canning foods forever and I've not ever been interested in learning. I was a working girl and no time for such sillyness. Now here I am trying my hand at canning...way too funny. I called one of my sister-in-laws to get some advice from her and she was very helpful. *sigh* not sure if this canning thing is for me. For now I need to do some research and be much better prepared next time. I'm gonna visit the local farmer's market to buy some fresh veggies/fruit. I really would like to can some homemade spagetti sauce and my dad's chili (hot sauce).
This is what you do when you retire and need to find something to do with my free time. 

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