Posted in Canning & Preserving, Soups & Stews, Uncategorized

Canning Tater (Potato) Soup

It’s that time of the year again. Summer takes a final bow and slinks away into the dying deep. A familiar chill creeps through the air. Leaves begin to turn and collectively fall. Golden, Burgundy and Russet hues vibrantly burst in midair until they blanket the ground we stand on. That being said, as a brisk wind blows and we tighten the grip of our sweaters, I begin to crave comfort food. Today, I began to play around with Tater Soup. It’s an inexpensive Classic. We are Canning it, though, so the cream portion of the recipe, we won’t add until we heat the Soup up for serving.

I’m going to break this down into 4 Quart Jars. I will give you the bulk of the Recipe, first and then I will tell you what I put into each Jar.


The Bulk…

  • 4 Jars
  • 7-8 Potatoes (Use what you have or what you like. I had Russet, so that’s what I used.) Peel and cube.
  • 3/4 cup of Shredded and Chopped Carrots
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion, Diced
  • 3 Stalks of Celery, chopped fine
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped fine.
  • Pickled Jalapeno (optional)
  • Seasonings: Salt, Lemon Juice, Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Powdered Chicken Broth, Pepper (Optional)

NOTE: Add your potatoes to a bowl full of salt water while you cut up the rest of the veggies. This will bleed out most of the Starch.


Per Jar, Layered….img_0718.jpg

  • 2 to 2 & 3/4 cups Taters
  • 1/4 cup  Red Pepper
  • 1/2 to 1/4 cup Celery
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Carrots
  • 1-2 pickled Jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cupful of Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 TBSP powdered Chicken Broth
  • Optional : Pepper

 



Directions

Layer all ingredients and seasonings. Then, add hot water. I only add enough Hot Water to cover the Vegetables. This is because I add cream when I heat and serve it. Less broth, the more cream you can add. Wipe your rims and then Pressure Can 11 lbs of Pressure for 20 Minutes. When you go to eat, add a cup of cream. If you want a thick, chowder like broth, mix a tablespoon or two of cornstarch into the cream before adding it.


IMG_0723


Other Herbs and Seasonings you can add: A dash of Nutmeg, Rosemary, Cayenne, Red Pepper Flakes, Basil, Thyme or Sage. When adding herbs, remember, when Canning, it can amplify the taste. So don’t go crazy unless you’ve done it before.

Before serving, you can also add a hand mixer to blend till smooth. That will give it an Irish soup feel but I prefer it chunky.

 

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Posted in Canning & Preserving, From Scratch, The Hungry Hen, Uncategorized

Corncob Jelly & Molasses

P9030473.JPGWhat in the world do we do with all those Corncobs? I was giving them to the hogs but after catching glimpse of two Amish Recipes, I’m now thinkin’ twice.

Corncob Jelly

  • 12 Freshly Shelled Corn Cobs
  • 3 Pints of Water
  • 1 pkg. Of Sure-Jell
  • 3 cups of Sugar
  • Red Food Coloring

Heat 3 pints of water. Break Cobs into small pieces and add to hot water. Boil for 35 minutes. Strain 3 cups of Juice. Add Water to make 3 cups if need be. Add Sure-Jell and sugar. Bring to another boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add a few drops of red coloring. Pour into Jars and Seal in a Hot Water Bath for 5 Minutes.

Corn Cob Molasses

  • 15 Clean, Fresh Corn Cobs Broken up
  • 1 gal water
  • Sugar
  • Red Food Coloring
  • ½ gal light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda to keep it from sugaring

Bring Cobs to a boil. Boil 2 minutes or until water is pink or amber colored. Strain and measure water. Add as much sugar as measured water. Bring to a boil until thickened. Add corn syrup, vanilla, red food coloring and baking soda. Check occasionally by taking out ½ cup and cooling to see the thickened consistency.

Posted in Canning & Preserving, From Scratch, The Hungry Hen, Uncategorized

Dandelion Jelly

file000125728323This recipe came out of a Cookbook that didn’t belong to me. I believe it was Amish or possibly, some sort of Folk. Regardless, I thought it was one worth saving because Dandelions actually have healing properties as I pointed out in another article, HERE.

Regardless, the recipe and instructions were as follows….

You want to pick the blossoms, and only the blossoms, and not the stems, early in the morning. The reason is, this would help avoid some of the bugs, like ants, which apparently love Dandelions too.

Once you have a Quart, boil in a Quart of water for 3 minutes. Drain the Blossoms from the Juice and use 3 cups of that liquid with 1 tsp of lemon or orange extract, 1 box of Sure-Jell and 4 ½ cups of sugar. Cook according to the Directions on the Sure-Jell box and Can accordingly unless you’re freezing or devouring right away.

Posted in Back in the Day, Canning & Preserving, Food Facts, From Scratch, Hen Cackle, Historical, The Scoop from the Coop, Things to Crow About, Uncategorized

Water Bath or Pressure Canner? And a Vintage Water Bath Chart.

1304176654-hey-who-s-the-designer-here-before-after-design-talk-oyxnog-clipartAre you like me? Ready to pull hair and scream over this whole: Water Bath or Pressure Canner debate? I feel you. I really, really feel you. And I can even understand why newbies to Canning are so freaked out. It’s not like the “Canning Police” and the “FDA” attempt to ease our mind any. They have more Do’s and Don’t’s than Grandma and her switched did.

 


And for those of us who were raised on our previous Ancestors, and how they did things, that’s a real struggle. I’d like to see the “Canning Police” or the “FDA” tell my Grandma or one of my Great Aunt’s how to Can. I’d love for them to say….


  • “You aren’t allowed to Can Potatoes”
  • “You aren’t allowed to Can Tomatoes in a Water Bath and if you Can, which better be in a PC (Pressure Canner), then that better have added Acid in it.”
  • “No Onions allowed!”
  • “Stick to a recipe to a T. If it calls for four cloves of Garlic, you better stick to 4 cloves. If not, you will kill the whole family.”

And last but not least….

  • “Best not EVER use a Water Bath to Can meat!!!!!”

My Grandma would have beat down the entire government. Canning police? Wouldn’t be a switch left on the tree.


Still, today, in nearly every Canning Group out there, the Nazi’s still shake a finger and the FDA is still beating fear into the Masses. And while I WILL NOT tell you what you can or can’t do, I did stumble onto this cool little vintage chart of rules for Water Bath Canners that probably swam around in every kitchen back in Grandma’s day. And I will offer one bit of advice. Not a demand,. Not a threat, just advice….

If you are Canning, do what you feel most comfortable with. I’ve used a Water Bath for everything before I finally bought a Pressure Canner a year ago. I don’t add acid to my Maters. I Can potatoes religiously. And the only difference I can offer you is this one:


PC’s Can in a shorter amount of time. Example: Canning Green Beans in a Water Bath Canner can take up to 4-41/2 hours. In a PC, 25 minutes.


Yep, that’s it. If you are on unfamiliar ground where Canning goes, a PC may make you feel safer but for those of us who were taught by Grandma and those before her, we also feel just fine the Water Bath way. So when it comes to Canning, so what the hell you want. Ask for advice by finding a great support group but a great support group doesn’t bleed and spew nothing but fear. If a Jar is bad, you will smell it. Sometimes you will see it but in case your glasses are fogged that day, the smell will tell you. That’s always worked for me.

And if a recipe calls for 4 cloves of Garlic, don’t think the entire family will die if you add 10. For the love of God, folks, stop trying to duct tape everyone into the same box. winks


 

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Posted in Canning & Preserving, The Hungry Hen, Uncategorized

Saving Broth

Thousands of you out there boil chicken before you toss it onto the BBQ. Thousands more throw a pan in the sink and wash all that brown flavor away after sautéing pork loin, chicken or beef.  All that rich, glorious flavor goes right down the drain. All that broth from simmering, marinating or boiling gets tossed over the fence. 
WHY? 
Our people would have NEVER wasted a drop. My Grandmother who grew up during the Depression, learned to make the most out of everything and anything. We waste so much now days– I catch myself doing it too– and all that money being tossed with our waste! 
Next time you marinade, simmer or boil meat, think about Canning the juice. Just strain it or let it cool to remove the fat– however you want it– but don’t waste it. If you don’t want to seal jars then put it in a Ball Jar , leaving a few inches from the top, and freeze it. Or, cool and pour it into a ziplock bag and freeze away. 
Don’t rinse the brown flavor down the drain after you cook pork or whatever else. Use a stainless steel pan, throw some water in after you’re done, put it back on the burner and then use a spatula to bring up what will easily come up. The water will turn dark with all that flavor. Cool, freeze or Can but DONT throw away. This is the heaven that makes awesom gravy or makes a broth scrumptiously rich! Need a kick for stuffing? Here ya go! 
Make the most out of everything. What you don’t need now, use for later.  

Posted in Canning & Preserving, From Scratch, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes

Homemade Mustard

  • 1/3 cup Mustard Seed
  • 3 TBSP Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Dark Beer (If you are Gluten Free, use a Gluten Free Beer)
  • 2 minced Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Allspice
  • Turmeric (For bright color.) Amount varies on Color you want.
  1. Mix Mustard Seed, Dry Mustard and Cider Vinegar. Cover with Plastic and let sit room temperature for 3 hours.
  2. In saucepan, combine Beer, Garlic, Sugar, Salt. Ginger, Turmeric and Allspice. Stir in mustard mixture. Bring to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  3. Spoon hot mixture into hot Canning Jars and seal tightly. Cool and store in cool, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.
Posted in Canning & Preserving, From Scratch, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

Homemade BBQ Sauce

You can “Can” this if you’d like. It will make up to 1 Quart (3 cups). Double. triple for whatever amount you need if you are Canning. Since there is plenty of acid in the sauce, you can use a Water Bath Canner. If you don’t can, I’d make a few days ahead from when you need it. This allows all of the spices to merge and create a better flavored sauce. If you cant make it ahead of time, no worries. It’s fine fresh, too.

bb

 

  • 1 & 1/2 cups of Ketchup
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2/3 cup Peanut or Safflower Oil (You can substitute Canola or Vegetable Oil if you aren’t willing to use the other.)
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 3 TBSP Spicy Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Lemon Juiced
  • Optional: 1-2 fresh Red Chili Peppers. Seeded. Minced. Use Gloves. They burn.

 

Mix everything in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar has completely dissolved. Can or Store or Use that Night.