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Archive for the ‘Meat’ Category
Monday, February 6th, 2017
I’ve been canning up a storm trying to gain some freezer space. Since Will brought home about 200 pounds of hamburger from a steer we had butchered, I have extra motivation for canning more meat and meat recipes.
Friday I thawed out a shank portion ham that I got on sale. Over the weekend I first cut ham chunks from it, then dices, and canned these prime pieces. When there was still considerable meat left on the bone, I put it into a large stockpot with water and boiled it for an hour or so. Then I cooled the pot and later skimmed off the excess fat and took out the bone. Then I cut even more pieces from it, adding them to the broth, along with grated carrot and chopped onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Bringing this up to a boil, I added the dry beans I’d soaked overnight. When the pot again came to a boil, I ladled 1/3 of a jar full of beans/veggies and filled it to within an inch of the top with broth. This gave me 10 jars of ham chunks and 27 jars of ham and bean soup. Again the bone went into the stock pot with half a pot of water. I simmered it for a couple of hours, then fished out the spent bone. Adding split peas, grated carrots, chopped onion, and garlic, along with salt and pepper to taste, I again filled jars — only 10 pints, this time.
When all was finished, I had 47 meal ingredients/meals from one half a ham. Not bad! Today I’ve got 10 pounds of hamburger thawed out and a kettle brimming with soaked beans. So this afternoon, it’s going to be another batch of chili. We use a lot of this, especially in the winter with a nice batch of cornbread to go with it.
We are excited that we just got our Seed Treasures catalogs from the printer. They look great and I’ll start sending them to customers who’ve requested them. Past customers will receive theirs, mailed bulk mail from the printer. Wow, suddenly spring seems a lot closer! — Jackie
Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
Ever have to be in two places at once? Not uncommon for us. For instance, we had two steers butchered and yesterday was the day we’d arranged to meet various customers who bought quarters of beef. But it was also the same day our son, Javid, was going skiing! Luckily David and his girlfriend, Ashley, drove Javid to the Giant’s Ridge Ski hill while we delivered beef.
Javid used to ski in Montana, using adaptive equipment and he has sure missed it here. He joined a special program here and yesterday he had a ball on the slopes. I asked David if they put him on the bunny hill. David laughed and said, “No, it was a pretty good hill!” And because David snowboards, I took his word. So we got it all done and everyone was happy.
Today it’s snowing pretty good and I’m getting ready to can up a big batch of baked beans. Like our beef, our pork is getting a little old so I need to use up the hams and bacon we have left. And we all love baked beans! So the beans are soaking and I’ll get at it soon. Mmmm!
We’ve finally set our program for the fall seminar so if any of you are interested, just click on the Seed Treasures link and check out what we’ll be offering in August. We’ve already got four people signed up so if you’re interested, I’d suggest getting signed up. We can only accept 14 people so everyone can get a good, hands-on experience.
It’s hard to believe we’ll be planting seeds soon! Especially when it’s snowing outside. But we’re real excited and are already discussing the wheres and hows of our 2017 gardens. And with the political unrest, we will be planting even more. Just in case … — Jackie
Wednesday, January 25th, 2017
We were until I came upon some of my photos taken in June! My gosh, the colors just knock us out after a winter of drab and white. Now I really can’t wait till spring.
We’re planning and ordering some interesting new seeds. As always, we look for beautiful, tasty and often Native heirloom varieties we can grow here in Zone 3. Already we’ve found some new-to-us old beans, squash, corn, and others. David’s girlfriend, Ashley, can’t wait to help out in the garden as she’s never had the chance to garden before and just loves all things “homesteady.” We have a lot of fun together.
Our warm weather has cooled and is heading back to normal for January. As long as I’ve lived in Minnesota — more than thirty years, in all — I’ve never seen a January thaw before. What a nice surprise that was! And it lasted nearly two weeks in what is usually the very coldest time of the year. Spring seems a lot closer even though I know we’ve still got a lot of winter ahead of us. (But, hey, we get to plant our peppers and petunias next month!)
I’ll be canning up some ground beef next; dozens and dozens of pints. It’s so easy to put up and so very handy to have around. I season some for tacos and leave other plain for a variety of mixed recipes. We just love having that pre-cooked burger handy for quick, homemade meals. — Jackie
Monday, January 23rd, 2017
Since we have a freezer half full of nearly year-old hamburger, and Will just took in two steers to butcher, I’ve been canning like crazy. No more putting it off for me! So far, I’ve put up 36 quarts of chili. But I’ve got a little warning for you. I learned something in the process. I had nearly run out of quart jars so at WalMart, I saw Anchor Hocking quarts, with lids and rings for more than a dollar cheaper than Kerr jars. Being cheap, and have used “alternative” brands for years, I bought two dozen jars.
Okay, fast forward. Two jars’ rings let loose during processing, blowing chili everywhere! One in one batch, one in the second. Not good! Will checked the rings and found that if jiggled a bit loose, they would pop right off! So I threw away ALL of the shiny gold new rings and finished the batches with old Kerr rings. Yep, all sealed fine. Surprise! I figured Anchor Hocking had been around for decades and the jars would be okay; but I didn’t think about rings. Lesson learned! Just a warning to all you who can. Don’t use the rings that come with Anchor Hocking jars!
I have to correct a statement in the last blog; we did not buy a battery from DB Electrical, but a starter. Love the company!
We had one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen the other evening. I grabbed my camera and tore off around the house, trying to find where I could get a shot. Nearly killed myself, dashing under the deck! But I did get a few good photos and it was all worth it.
I bought a used rocker-recliner from Goodwill years ago but it was getting pretty shaky. So over the weekend, Will took it apart and re-glued and added a few screws to it to strengthen it further. Now it’s in great shape. It’s amazing what a good man, some glue and screws can do!
Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
We heard the dreaded four letter word: snow! And eight inches plus is forecast. In Northern Minnesota, that means it’ll probably stick all winter. This will most likely be our first permanent snowfall (which will not melt until spring), so we’ve been hurrying around all day getting chores done. We split up some more dry wood to add to the wood shed along with all the small wood Will has been cutting.
Then Will took the splitter off the tractor and attached the rototiller. He wants to get all of the gardens tilled before it snows so the sheet of manure he lays on it will more easily leach nutrients into the soil between now and spring. David’s girlfriend, Ashley, came out and Will says she’s now tilling the North garden! Wow, I’m impressed!
Meanwhile, I’ve been updating our Seed Treasures website as I know lots of folks are anxious to see what goodies we’re offering this year (and there are a lot). I have also been printing off hundreds of labels for all the different varieties. My printer is a dinosaur so every once in a while it has fits and won’t, but it is getting done. Now if that darned snow would just hold off … — Jackie
Tuesday, November 15th, 2016
We listened to the weather radio — which we just about live by — and they’re expecting rain and snow tomorrow and on through the week. And we still have a bunch to do. I just finished up the rest of our beautiful apples and now have dozens of quarts of apple slices and apple juice. (I put the peels and cores through the Mehu Liisa and turned out beautiful apple juice. Then the goats got the leftovers.)
I’ve still got a crate of carrots to do and some chili but that’s on hold right now as Will is sawing up lots of dry popple poles for our small wood. This stuff is great kindling and also works extremely well in our kitchen range. It’s pretty darned good when you can keep the house toasty and also be cooking and baking on the same stove at the same time. What a win-win situation!
My oldest son, Bill, got a nice fat five-point buck which is now in our freezer waiting to be cut up and canned. He’ll be up next weekend to help do that. We always have a great time visiting while we process venison. David saw a big eight-point buck but it ran straight away from him and he didn’t get a decent shot. So he’ll try again this week and see if he can also bring home the “bacon.” We really love making venison summer sausage with my electric meat grinder which has a sausage stuffing horn. It tastes SO good!
Well, I’m finally done processing all the seeds except some Hopi Pale Grey squash. All I have to do is update our website and I have to get at that pronto as we’re already getting seed orders coming in.
Gotta run so I can go help Will. Snow’s on the way… — Jackie
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
Becky B. sent us this photo of her Bill Bean tomato she raised last year from our seeds. Isn’t it pretty? And BIG too! — Good job, Becky!
I baked up half a ham and got 16 jars full of ham dices and pieces. Today I’m boiling the bone and will be canning up pints of bean and ham soup. As spring is coming, I need to empty our freezer, which we can’t keep running during the summer. That means eating/canning everything that is in it. I’ve made a good start on it and next will be mixing up some Italian sausage from our ground pork to can as crumbles. I use this on pizzas and in spaghetti sauce, among other things.
I had to laugh at Hondo last night. I had been looking at several seed catalogs and he fell asleep upside down on the couch, right by the Fedco catalog. I think he was reading it then drifted off!
We’ve got four more inches of new snow today so Will and Hondo are out plowing the driveway. We’ve got a butcher steer scheduled to butcher tomorrow so we’ll need to get him loaded this afternoon. We helped a neighbor yesterday do that same thing. But all did not go well. The animal jumped out over the fence, knocking my friend Jeri down. Luckily she wasn’t hurt bad but we ended up taking four hours to get the bugger in the trailer! Will was about pooped out, trying to head the cow off on foot through deep snow in the pasture. Our friend Sam was trying to help, too and we were worried about him because he has already had a couple of heart attacks, a knee replacement, and another bad knee to boot. We were sure glad when we were done and the cow was in the trailer … and no one was hurt. — Jackie
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
When canning with chicken or beef stock would I consider this meat and use the higher canning time required?
No. If you are canning just broth with no meat, you would only process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes for both chicken and beef broths. Of course, if you add pieces of meat, you’d then process for the higher “meat” required time of 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts, all at 10 pounds pressure unless you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet. — Jackie
I’ve also been doing some catch up canning. Mostly broth. My beef broth and ham broth both turned out cloudy. I’ve never had that happen before. They smell and taste great, and canned up fine. I’ll do the sniff test, but am wondering what may have caused this. I used the same pot, and added carrots, onions, and celery. Cooked on the woodstove overnight. 3 batches of each, and 2 of the beef and 2 of the ham look more like gravy, though not thick like gravy. The other batches turned out nice and clear. Do you have any ideas?
Miles City, Montana
It may just be that because you cooked the broths on the wood stove overnight, there may have been more tiny pieces of meat/veggies broken down by long cooking. If the broths were processed correctly and are sealed, along with smelling fine on opening, I wouldn’t worry a bit. — Jackie
I’m new to canning and canned some Yukon Potatoes a few months ago. I used a small amount of ascorbic acid with some of the batches but not all. Now I notice that some of the jars have a grayish color to the water. It looks like it might be a sediment, maybe starch? I used Tattler lids and had good results. The seals are intact. Any thoughts on this?
Crescent City, California
I’d guess that your off color is, as you suspected, just potato starch which has settled out after canning. As always, if you followed correct canning directions and the jars are sealed, I wouldn’t worry at all. As with everything we can, on opening, check the appearance of the food in the jar, open it, noting that it is indeed sealed well, then sniff the contents. If everything is well, as it usually is, go ahead and heat and eat! Glad to hear you’ve started canning. You’ll quickly find how much fun it is! — Jackie
There was a post where people wanted to know how to can nopales (cactus). I would love to know how to. Do you have a recipe? Preferably not pickled; I love the plain wonderful taste. Please direct me where I can find a recipe.
San Diego, California
Unfortunately, there is no approved method for home canning nopales. Some folks can them as you would green beans but this is, again, NOT an approved method. Instead, you might like them frozen. It is easy and the taste is great when thawed. Simply clean the fresh, young cactus pads of their spines, rinse, then cut into strips. Boil for one minute to blanch, then drain and pack into freezer containers.
Pickling nopales is pretty easy. Here’s one recipe:
12 oz. cactus pad
4 oz. onion
1 cup water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. peppercorn
Remove the spines from young, tender nopales (cactus leaves), then rinse well. Slice onion into thin strips. Trim the stem end off the jalapeño, halve, and cut into thin strips. Remove the seeds and membranes to reduce the heat if desired.
In a stainless steel pot, combine the vinegar, salt, and peppercorn. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pack the cactus strips, onion, and jalapeño into clean jars. Pour the vinegar brine into the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Apply lids and rings, and process in the water bath canner for 10 minutes.
I hope you enjoy your nopales. Not only are they good, but they’re good for you too! — Jackie