Canned So Far 2014

I took a picture of the foods I have canned so far this year.  Of course, this isn’t all of it because we have eaten some already – but it’s a good representation of what I have been canning.  I must tell you, I really enjoy canning and preserving food!  The cabinet is almost full, but that’s okay, because I can use the cabinet below it.

canning food

The top shelf holds the fruit – jellies, butter and such.  On the far left is some homemade pectin I canned – six 8 ounce jars – each jar equivalent to two 3 oz Certo liquid pectin packets, or one batch of jam/jelly/conserve.  Next to that is a small batch of plum butter I made this year in the crock pot. So good!  Then there is the blackberry/gooseberry jelly – I made one pint jar and eight 8 oz jars, but after gifting I have the pint jar and three 8 oz jars left. This is so good I need to stop giving it away!  Finally, are the cubed peaches.  I use these in yogurt, over oatmeal, ice cream, or cottage cheese, and even as a sweetener with flavor in tea.  Yum! The last jars are my extracts – lemon, vanilla and orange.

Home canning

The second shelf holds 8 jars of plum juice – I started out with 10 quart jars, but one didn’t seal so we used that right away and another has also been used.  Yum!  Soon I will be canning apple juice, so this shelf will be filled with deliciousness. 😀

Canning Juice

The last shelf holds the meats.  First is the beef in wine sauce (post coming soon).  I canned nine pint jars and we have used one. This is soooo good.  Next to the beef is the spaghetti sauce with meat in pint jars.  To tell you the truth, this really is better than anything you can buy at the store, and I know I’m not getting bottom of the barrel meat in my sauce! 😉  Next is the canned salmon.  I have made salmon patties and salmon chowder out of my canned salmon so far.  I just downloaded a Kindle book on salmon recipes – hopefully I can find a couple more that will be good using canned salmon. On the far right is chicken and chicken broth.  We have been eating some of these also and they are very useful, so I definitely need to make more soon. I only have two pints of chicken broth and two pints of the chicken left.Meats that have been Pressure Canned

The canned meats have turned my kitchen into a fast food restaurant.  In the case of the beef in wine sauce, once canned all you have to do is dump the whole jar, along with the juice, into a sauce pot, add some cornstarch to thicken the sauce and some quartered crimini mushrooms.  Meanwhile cook some pasta (any kind), and when the beef is thickened and heated through, poured over the pasta (or rice or mashed potatoes).  This is really delicious and it is actually the pasta that takes the longest to prepare!  Or, perhaps you would like to add sour cream instead of cornstarch, which makes a beef stroganoff type dish. Of course, the chicken is wonderful for chicken noodle soup.  I use one jar of the chicken broth and one of the chicken, add in some carrots, onions and celery, a little black pepper and some pasta – any kind of pasta. Let it simmer until the pasta is cooked and the carrots are almost tender (I don’t like mushy carrots 😉  ).  Done.  Delicious.

pressure canned beef in wine sauce

Canned Beef in Red Wine Sauce – after canning prepared with quartered crimini mushrooms and cornstarch as a thickener, over pasta.  Suggested Serving

I choose to can most of the meats in the pint jars because this is the perfect size for just my husband and I.  It’s also a more manageable size while canning and for storing. Besides, I can fit 18 pints versus 7 quarts into my pressure canner.

Is all this canned food enough?  Heck no!  If we had to rely on this cupboard of canned foods for our sustenance this winter, we would be mighty hungry.  Actually, most of my canning right now is a learning experience and for experimentation purposes.  I am learning what works for me and what doesn’t – which recipes will be my “go-to” ones and which recipes will be chucked.  Then I am compiling a cookbook of recipes that incorporate the canned food so we don’t end up eating the same thing over and over again.  Sometimes the recipes I find on Pinterest are major “fails”, but I like trying new things, so I will end up with some failures. Getting into the real nuts and bolts of canning and preserving our food will begin once we move up to our future homestead, because that is when we will begin to rely on what we have “put up”, rather than taking a trip to the grocery store every week.

For recipes of any of the canned foods in this post, just click on the tab on the header above titled “Preserving Food”.

Next?  Well, as I mentioned I canned some killer Beef in Wine the other day and will be writing a post on it soon.  I also have a bunch of green beans I will be canning this afternoon.  Then, I want to try my hand at canning potatoes.  Although we will have a root cellar, potatoes don’t always last through an entire winter.  Our apples will be ripening in another month or so, and I plan to make some apple pie filling, apple juice and applesauce.

One last thing – does anyone have a really, really good salsa recipe I can borrow that doesn’t use too much cilantro? ♥ ♥ ♥001

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54 thoughts on “Canned So Far 2014

  1. lovely lovely lovely!! but I think you will need a bigger cabinet before too long! I have a great recipes for apple pie jam, will see if I can find and send. On the meat – grab a turkey to can – you get a ton more meat than one little ole chicken!! If they are expensive wait until the fall sales and snag a few extra to can. I think they taste a lot better than chicken too! I did mine baked (just plain) but I imagine you can do it raw pack too.

    • What a great idea about the turkey! Yes, when they go on sale for Thanksgiving I will can up a bunch. Canned roasted turkey would be so good and will make a fabulous soup! Thanks! It sounds like not only will I need more cabinet space, I will need more jars. 😉

    • I hope it will only be a “drop in the bucket” compared to this time next year, but at least it’s a start. Thanks for stopping by with your kind comment, Amy!

    • Yes, it really is satisfying. But, looking at my inventory just makes me want to do more! I know that some people consider canning to be a chore, but so far for me it has been a very gratifying and fun experience. Have a wonderful day, Cynthia, and enjoy your weekend!

  2. What an accomplishment, having canned so much already. I think bottled foods are as pretty to look at as they are delicious! They look gorgeous in your cupboard. Are you wanting a bottled salsa or a fresh salsa recipe? I have a couple of good bottled ones. Neither one calls for any cilantro. I only use that in my fresh salsa. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    • Thank you! I didn’t have a pantry in my kitchen, so my dearest hubby built a whole wall into cabinets for me! My husband truly is a blessing.

    • Aw Gee Shucks, Thanks! I quietly slipped over to your blog and I must say that I love it! I commented on your post about honeybees. Thanks for the pickle recipe!

  3. I love the looks of the beef in wine sauce. Good point about your pantry becoming your own fast food restaurant! If you’re interested in canning small batches I have two books I lean on: Food In Jars by Marissa McClellan and The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp. (both of these are on Amazon).

    I haven’t done any pressure canning so I admire your skill set. There’s also a blog, Tales from a Middle Class Kitchen. He cans a lot of his garden bounty in creative ways.

    Good luck with your salsa!

    • Good evening, Lydia! I have read through the books you mentioned – my library has them. I read recipe books like they are novels – from the first page to the last! 😀 Thanks for mentioning the blog, I am going to check that one out next. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Haha – not even close! If we have one can of beef, one can of chicken and one of pork or fish every week for the winter months, lets say December through March, I would need at least 18 jars of each! And that’s just having some type of meat 3 times a week! Now add in the vegetables and fruits! Whew – I will need a BIG pantry to keep it all! Luckily, I don’t mind. I actually enjoy canning and discovering new recipes! Thanks for stopping by, Rhonda! I love your blog with all the pictures showing the beautiful places in New Zealand! Have a great weekend.

  4. Wow..love your talent. Wish I could do this! Dont’ know why I never learned! Just looking at your open cabinet…amazing! followed you from saturday linky!

    • Hello, Val – thanks for your kind compliment! How did your plums turn out? Oh, and by the way, I am by no means a pro! In fact, I am still learning a lot of stuff about canning – especially pressure canning. Someday soon I hope to be more confident, so when I can a batch in the pressure canner I won’t have to read, then re-read all the instructions! I am always afraid I will forget something important and the entire batch will fail. So far, this hasn’t happened, so I would encourage anyone to give canning a try!

  5. You get my homemaker award for canning. I used to do all that when my kids were young, it sure helped and everything tasted so much better than canned. The only thing I do now with 2 of us is to make some frozen jam.

    Thanks for stopping by to share your post, I just pinned it to our Weekends Party Board also.
    Hope to see you next week.
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend
    Karren

    • You are so sweet! Thanks for pinning to the party board! It’s funny, now that it’s just my husband and I, I am canning more 😀 Of course, it will become a necessity when we are living in our travel trailer with such a small refrigerator/freezer. See you next week!

    • Good evening, Heidi. Yes, I have been very busy this summer, and I have loved every minute of it! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Merry Monday Morning to you Marla (I love alliteration!). Yes, I have been busy, and lovin’ every minute of it! Thanks

  6. When I saw you linked up a post with a cabinet of jars, the canning nerd in me jumped on over! Doesn’t it feel so good to have all that food, made with best of ingredients, and all ready to roll! I love seeing my pantry grow (I am sometimes a bit stingy to start using my stuff, hee, hee)…Thanks for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays Vicki 🙂

    P.S. I will be canning some beef broth soon since we just processed our own meat 🙂 I am debating on jarring some meat but those recipe ideas have the brain moving…

    • Yes, it does feel good having a cabinet of food! I know just how you feel about using it up! We always try a jar right away, just to see how it turns out, but then I want to squirrel it away and not use it up! Go figure 😀 I think you should try one of the meat recipes – especially the beef in red wine! It is so good and when you are stressed for time it makes such a delicious and fast dinner. In the time it takes to cook some pasta or rice or mashed potatoes, your meat should be heated and ready to go! I added some mushrooms and a little cornstarch to make the sauce thicker. You could add broccoli or some kind of veggie to make it an entire meal in one pot! Thanks again, JES!

    • Believe me, there is still a lot more to learn! Hopefully we will get to a place where we feel more confident in our efforts. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment – can’t wait to hear from you again!

  7. They look great. I can a bit and I’m trying to figure out why your jars all look like there is something white under the sealed lid. I see the lid and I see the contents but in between, there is a white line. Are these the Ball canning lids? They look nothing like mine.

    • What you are looking at are the Tattler lids with their rubber rings. I have been using these more and more lately, and will probably want to have Tattler lids for all my jars before it’s all said and done. A Tattler lid is a plastic canning lid (completely food safe) that is used with a rubber ring, instead of the conventional metal lids. These lids cost a bit more than the metal lids, but they can be used over and over again! So, instead of throwing away the metal lid and always having to buy more, I store the Tattlers from year to year. From what I understand, they are good for up to 20 uses! Thank you for your great question! Please feel free to ask more 😀

    • Thanks, Kathy! Since then I have added 6 pints of green beans, 8 more quarts of plum juice and 8 half pints of Chinese Plum Sauce. Soon I will be canning salsa, applesauce, apple juice and apple pie filling. My cupboard runneth over! 😀

  8. I LOOOOVE your hutch just for canned goods! Those jars look beautiful all lined up, Wanna come teach me to can? 😉 Congrats on all the fruits of your labor (pun intended – couldn’t resist)!!

    • Haha! Great pun, Heather! I have almost twice as many done now! I would like to be certified as a Master Food Preserver so I can teach, unfortunately I can’t seem to find any certifying classes nearby. 🙁 But, truthfully, if you watch a few you tube videos on canning, you will be doing it yourself in no time! Thanks for coming by to read my blog!

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  10. I wish I could do some canning, but are garden has done poorly last year and this year. We think we know what the problem is and it’s a pretty easy fix. I pinned your recipe for homemade pectin, we don’t have an apple tree. Could you advice me as to what I can do? We don’t know anyone who has one either. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays.

    • Good evening, Joyce! I know that apples aren’t the only fruit high in pectin. I believe that blackberries and plums are also high, especially before they are fully ripe, but I would check on that. I would be afraid, however, that the blackberries might add a strange flavor to a jelly or jam that isn’t bold tasting on it’s own. Otherwise, I’m not sure what you would use to substitute the apples. Sorry. Maybe you can plant an apple tree! 🙂

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    • What is stopping you from canning? Seriously, it isn’t hard to do, especially if you start out water bath canning with simple jams and jellies. Progress from there to fruits and fruit juices, along with pickles and chutneys. After you feel comfortable water bath canning, then you can progress to pressure canning your meats and vegetables. But be careful, it can be addicting! 🙂

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  13. I have an awesome recipe for salsa/rotel tomatoes if you are still interested. It is my uncle’s recipe and we use it for everything….salsa, rotel, soups, chilis, etc.

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