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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Canning: Ham, raw pack

Ham is LOW ACID and must be pressure canned. Be safe and Be sanitary.

Ham was on sale this week $1.27 /lb. Still not as good as the sale prices on major holidays but not bad at all. Truthfully it was one of the few edible items worth buying this week.

I selected the bigger of the two (10 lbs) and decided I wanted to try something a little different.

I dug my cutters out of the drawer and found one that fit the inside of the 1 pint wide mouth. I wanted to do sliced rounds a little short of an inch. Since they shrink a bit after canning I figure a round would be good on a biscuit or under a poached egg for eggs benedict.

First I washed the canner, the utensils, the lids and caps and washed the jars and filled them with hot water.

Next I filled the canner to the 2nd water line and added a splash of vinegar.

Next you line up your utensils and rack with towel on it. Some people just lay a big towel on the counter - that is fine too.

Then I rest the jars in the water and turn it to medium and cover (not close) the lid.

While the water is reaching temperature I start trimming the ham. I did NOT cook the ham this is simply my preference because I feel the pressure canning process is sufficient enough. I take care to cut out the rounds where I can and trim off as much fat and gristle as I can.

I cut the bottomout first to determine where the bone is.

I broke the ham down into 3 different ways:
sliced rounds - sandwhiches
long slices - stirfry or sautes
chunks - salads, fried rice or with crackers

This cut did not have much waste. It was just a small cereal bowl full of waste. I reserved the skin and bone for broth.

Once the meat is prepared start the broth.

I just covered the meaty part of the bone with filtered water and added a touch of pepper a few slivers of onion and a stalk of celery. I let that boil hard for at least 20 minutes

Once the broth looked like it had reached a good colorful level I started removing the jars from the canner. And poured it onto the lids and caps.

Then I lined up the hot empty jars on the towel.

I started with the sliced rounds, then moved to the slices and then finally the chunks. I did it in this order because if there is additional space you can use the chunks to fill them.

Meats should go to the 1 inch mark.

Once filled I put a pinch of red hot chili flakes and parsley on the top of each pile. That is for both color and flavor.

I slowly ladled broth onto each bottle 1 ladle at a time.

The sliced rounds are very snug. So I used a narrow chopstick to move the meat and burp the bubbles. You will have to lift it slightly to get the air out from in between the rounds.

The sliced ham and chopped ham could be burped with a mini spatula. Once you have burped it make sure that you cover it with liquid to the 1 inch mark.

Due to the fat content I made sure to wipe it THRICE rinsing the towel every 2nd bottle.

Use the magnetic lifter to pick up the lids. Line it up with the mouth of the jar.

I hold the lid down while i put on the cap.
Tighten it finger-tight.

Carefully place them in the canner.

Close the lid centering the arrows.
Turn the heat to high.

Once the nipple pops vent for 10 minutes.

After venting pop the weight on - if you use a gauged pressure canner just wait for your pressure to hit 11 (or whatever is suggested for your residential altitude) and start timing

Pints: 75 minutes
Quarts: 90 minutes

Start the timer from the point it starts JIGGLING/DANCING. I leave my stove on high heat, but some people turn it down just enough to maintain the jiggle. I don't, I won't play Russian roulette with food poisoning yanno?

Once the time is up turn off the heat and wait for the nipple to deflate. Do not touch the weight (jiggler). Do not touch the nipple. Be patient you will know once it stops.

Be careful, it's super hot!

I know I overcooked mine a bit because I fell asleep while it was venting. But it didn't dry out - The next morning I removed the caps and scrubbed down the lids and bottles. I must admit these are some of the better seals I've had.

Canning Ham made me very nervous and I was watching it and listening for strange noises but they came out all right.

10 lbs made a tightly stuffed 8 pints.

Once everything is dry I label everything and date it. I even put ham rounds, ham sliced, ham chunks - so if I have to send Mr.Man to the food room then he will know what to get!

It's just easier that way.

I will do the 8 pound ham tomorrow as well as some ham broth for soups.

Keep it Poppin' Keep it Choppin!

End of August Haul...I'm pooped

Jars...the blessing and bane of a canning junkies existence. I checked out craigslist and there was a lady 2 exits from here selling 7 jars for 2.50 lol. 2 quarts, 5 pints and 2 ball glasses with lids. Sweet Lady...

Quite a deal but they are getting harder and harder to come by.

My sister wanted to go on a shopping mission and we had to bring one of the dogs to the vet for a checkup. I found this at ross hidden in the plates. Really weird. It used to be 14.99 but I managed to find it on clearance for 5.99.

Crazy's an LED wind up light. I minute of winding will give you 20 minutes of light. It works I tested it. Pretty easy to use - has 3 brightness settings and a hook to hang it and a rubberized bottom so it doesn't "slip."

We needed one but I figured that it would be handy for prepper stock - camping stuff I guess. I'm not really hip to the camping - camping to me is a hotel without a concierge so this will be interesting. HAHAHA.
We decided to kill time and stay on the same side of town as the vet to conserve gas. L'il sis suggested we go to Target bc bathing suits should be 75% off by now. They really weren't but I found this 8 pc water bath canner set for 14.98 it was half off!
Someone said that's an "OK" deal. Hahahaha really? Coz the last time I checked the price of the canner alone is $15.

I like how it has the basket and the extra funnel and magnet. I must admit I already extra accessories stored for the canning such as funnels, jar lifters, hundreds of lids and all that because I know the price is only going up and because I know that I'll be a canner for as long as I can do it it's not a passing fancy yanno?

Albertsons had the shank Ham for 1.27 and butt ham for 1.47. I opted to get the shank so that I could boil it out and make ham stock for pork and beans or ham and pea soup.

Target had Mr. Mans favorite body soap 2 for 5 and Albertsons had the wine on super sale.

Since we are comfortable at the level of preps we have this is the stage in the game where we take advantage of sales and incorporate them into our preps. I don't know how much liquor people incorporate into their preps but we do at least once a month add a few bottles.

The wine is red rock Merlot and some organic Chilean red, carmenere i think. The wine was about 75% off. I'm not really a wine fan but Mr.Man definitely is. So at these prices it's kind of ridiculous not to buy them.

Funny how when stores renovate here they put everything on clearance and then restock.

Bread Pans for baking. I currently have 4 but I decided to pop into the Ross and see if they had anymore of the Nordic Ware USA made steel pans I like - they didn't have those but they had these king Arthur flour brand ones. Also made in the US and stainless steel.

I think they were like 6.50. Some people pay as much as 12 bucks for made in china ones with crappy teflon. Yuckers.

Others prefer to bake their bread in glassware (aka Pyrex) I've personally never baked any kind of bread in glassware but I think I'll give it a whirl now.

I always used my Pyrex short dishes for vegetable terrine and couple size lasagna :)

While in Target I also stopped by to look at the clearance along the ends...and found Colgate toothpaste $1.38 for 8 oz plus free toothbrush. I picked up 10 of them. I really could have picked up a lot more but we already have a lot in storage. What a steal.

Last stop was dollar tree because it was right next to the vet. I picked up cloves, whole milk and half and half (shelf stable best by date is Feb 2012). Lemon extract (ingredients lemon, oil, alcohol). And a backup tripod for the camera so when I start doing cooking demos.

I almost forgot to mention at target they also had the Ball Blue Books on clearance for 3.62. I already have one but this is just in case I destroy mine.

Dollar tree also had these intruder alert trip wire things for the doors, generic neosporin and extra batteries for the trip alarms. As you know everything is a dollar.

Today I was able to find natural (unbleached) parchment paper for 2.99. Glitter sprinkles for cupcakes (2.49) - not really a prepping item but nice to put up since Christmas is right around the corner - and I found that Albertsons grocery carries junket rennet - So I will be able to make an attempt to make cheese!!!

My brother also hooked me up with this Portuguese coffee for only $12.99 - it sounds like a LOT but actually it's over a kilo of whole bean coffee. I don't think it can be beat. Chocolate Traditional Roast - Organic. LOL.

Finally, he also got me this manual coffee/grain grinder. It only does 1 cup at a time but it doesn't hurt to have it - it's made out of beech and brass.

It's been busy around here because I already canned half of the ham and organized the house and cooked dinner and blah blah.

It never ends.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Deals of the Day...

I realized Mom had given me some plastic bags for a vac sealer that is not a food saver and the food saver would not take the thinness of those bags. So I went to return them to big lots. I didn't have a receipt so I told the guy I would just take an exchange he said ok - I turned around and don't you know - Liquid Pectin is on sale.

2 pack of certo sure jell. 25 cents. Expires Sept 2012. Some of them expire next month, most of them don't. I bought the expired ones too - I"m going to try canning some jam with them and test this theory that it doesn't work after expiration. We'll see. 58 boxes HA HA.

See...the same thing goes for yeast and baking powder - so as it ages you just increase ingredient. I'll let you know how it goes in December.

7 oz sockeye salmon was only 99 cents. Expires 2014. It's not the 15.4 oz can that I like but it's also not the paltry 5 oz that most stores have. It's a win because red salmon is better than chicken of the sea brand.

I had a 10 dollar credit - and I saw these 16 pc bungee cords and 10 pc rubber tarp straps. It sounded like a good deal and we didn't have either of them.

I showed them to Mr.Man and said here you go Man Stuff. He said How do you use these tarp straps. I said I dunno. He laughed and asked why did you get it then? I said "because it looks prepperish and useful..." Then we both laughed.

My baby spatula is looking beat so I went around looking for some type of replacement. The paula deen ones were only 1.97, the 2 rubber ones were 99 cents. I even found a mini tripod for $1 since I'm going to start making cooking videos.

Weird to say that.

I'm so pooped but I just had to put this up real quick so I can sleep in a bit tomorrow and then put up 2 slide shows on my youtube.

Canning: Cherries

Hello Everyone!

The Canning Junkie is back!

I stopped by Sprouts Market as I needed some more romaine (organic on sale there at 99cents for 3 heads), as I was picking up produce on the way out I noticed a table of cherries - I checked and the price was 99 cents a POUND! What!

I picked up 4 bags but my brother took one home...hahaha I can't decline that guy ever.

Wash and De Stem

I don't have a cherry pitter so I tried with a chop stick. I lined up the tip with the belly button...

Held the fruit loosely and pushed the chopstick through and the pit came out...

My friend CK also suggested an icing tip. Lord knows I have a ton of those so I picked the most narrow tip and set it on a tiny saucer.

Belly button side down

One firm push and the pit is out.

Wash the canner and add a splash of vinegar.
Place on burner on high heat.

Wash/Sanitize jars, lids and rings.
Fill jars halfway with hot water

Set into canner on top of stove.
Cover with lid but do not shut.

Set rings in heat resistant container.
Set lids to dry for a bit

Measure out syrup ingredients:

7 cups water
10 oz apple juice
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Set out utensils.
Ensure everything is clean.
If in doubt - wash it twice.

Once you hear canner boiling start syrup.

Unlid canner and begin removing jars.

Remove jars with jar lifter.

Pour hot water onto lids and caps.

Set jars aside on towel.

Fill to the 1/2 inch line.
Tap jars onto your palm to settle them.
Fill again.

Top off with syrup.

Run spatula along sides to burp bubbles.

Wipe Off lip and sides of bottle.
This is rather sticky i did it THRICE.

Grab lids with magnetic lifter.

Line them up and cover lids.

Position rings. Close fingertight.

Please use towels, my hands are very resistant to heat - don't try this at home ;)

Place jars in canner not touching.

Fill with more water to lid level.

Boil Water Canner
pints: 25 minutes
quarts: 30 minutes

I start the time after the nipple pops.

Remove from heat.
Allow to cool.

Try to remove them upwards not side to side.

Once they've cooled remove the rings and check the seals, also wipe down if anything is sticky or tacky. Dry again.

7-8 lbs did make 10 pints. So it would be a good idea to withhold a bit for house eating.

Label and put up!

Happy Canning.

ps) Please follow your ball book directions and check the seals. If the seals don't tighten as they should just put it in the fridge and eat it during the week. OK.