An abundance of winter squash and canning chili beans
What a strange summer. Several gardeners in Pueblo had zero summer squash (can you imagine zucchini NOT even sprouting?), but an abundance of winter squash. I plan to can my excess winter squash in cubes as you instruct in your book. Can you recommend any casseroles or methods of preparing the canned squash for dinner this winter?
Also, I would like to can something similar to Kuner’s spicy chili beans. I think they are a pinto or kidney bean in a thick sauce with lots of chili powder in it. If you have made beans like this, what all did you add and how did you cook and can the beans?
It was the heat that did in a lot of crops, country wide, this summer. I often drain the cubes and gently mix them in a casserole dish with other vegetables and meat (ham is great), then drizzle with butter and either brown sugar or melted jam or grated cheese. Then bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and hot — about half an hour. Or you can mash the squash and add it over a layer of diced ham or browned, crumbled sausage. I also use my canned squash in baking — it’s especially good for pies.
Yes, I do make something like this. I first use the hurry-up method of canning my beans, found in my book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food. Basically, you rinse the beans (I use kidneys or pintos), then put them in a pot, cover well with boiling water and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 2 hours, covered. I then add chili powder, onion powder, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. You can also add tomato paste if you wish. Bring to a boil, stirring well. Then pack hot into hot jars. Process pints for 65 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. If you live above 1,000 feet, consult your canning book for directions on increasing your pressure to suit your altitude. — Jackie
Can you tell me some ways to preserve lemons?
New Freedom, Pennsylvania
You can juice the lemons and then can the juice. Or you can slice and dehydrate lemons, with the seeds removed. I then whiz the lemons in my blender and make lemon powder, which is great in tons of recipes from casseroles to baked goods. — Jackie