Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dressed for Canning Success

When starting a canning project, the best way to make it a productive and pleasant experience is to be ready for it.  Like making dinner is harder in a dirty kitchen with no clean pots and pans ....  canning will be as easy as you prepare for it to be.

I can outside most of the time.  It is much more pleasant, I can watch the kids play and I don't heat up the house.  When I blanch, tomatoes and peaches, I set up like an assembly line.

I set up my camp chef and my table so I can stand or sit in one spot and easily reach the produce to put in the hot water, remove the produce to the cold water, peel into the bucket on the ground and place blanched, peeled produce in my clean pot.

Once this is done, I leave the table up and process my jars of produce.  I then set them to cool on a towel on the table.  I know people say the wind can break your jars ...  and I live in a very windy place ... but in four years of canning this way, I have never broken a jar from the wind.  I would say it never hurts to try and if the wind is a problem for you, then simply walk the jars into the house rather than letting them cool outside.

Sorry for the glare ...  can't control the sun!

The camp chef can also handle two canners at a time.  There's not quite enough room for three, but the middle burner is a good place to put a pot of canning liquid (water or syrup) to stay warm without heating the house!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Donut Glaze

Glaze on Sweet, Whole Wheat Cinnamon Bread

2 c. Powder Sugar
2 Tbs butter powder
1 tsp Vanilla Powder
1/2 tsp Almond Powder
6 Tbs Water

This makes a wonderful glaze, perfect for donuts, sweet rolls and cakes.  You can add other flavors or omit the almond to make it the flavor you are looking for.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


We are very blessed.  On Saturday I was canning tomatoes.  Tomatoes out my ears.  In the middle of my first batch, my Mr got a phone call from his son asking if we wanted corn.  Apparently there is a farmer, who's kid planted a few acres for FFA and they were going to disc it under now that her project was complete.  The corn was free for the taking, as much as we wanted.

I felt my body slump in anticipation of the future fatigue as I said "Of course we want it dear.  How long do we have to get it?"

The answer came back, that it was to be plowed tonight.  So 30 minutes later (that's how long was left on the tomato batch) my Mr and I headed out for corn.  Oh did we get it too.

Looking at the pictures now, and knowing how much there was, it is hard to feel the pictures do it justice.  To explain, we got through ONE of the totes, and the box.  We put away 3lbs in the dehydrator, 24 lbs in the freezer and 24 pints in the canner.

We didn't finish the corn until Sunday evening.  If I never see another kernal of corn again, it would be too soon.  We ended up giving away the other tote, and the buckets away in bag fulls to the neighbors.

I am slowly putting all the frozen corn through the dehydrator.  I did not have the jar space to can it all and neither did I have the desire to spend that kind of time.  I had to get cleaned up so I could go back to work the next day.

It is amazing how little time it took to shuck and clean and cut the corn off the cob.  We ended up with about 50 lbs of perserved corn.  The frozen/dehydrated corn needed to be blanched, but we did that by the 1lb batch in the steamer basket.  The corn in the jars did not require blanching.

Post Update:
I have reconstituted the dehydrated corn and eaten it.  I am so excited because I always thought it was only good for soups or casseroles; but it's great to eat as a side dish!!!  Reconstitute, add butter, salt and pepper then eat just like fresh corn.  Amazing!!