We have had a summer with no summer. A friend I talked to today said yesterday it was 33 degrees early in the morning! And we’ve had highs of 50 for a week. Even for Minnesota, THAT’S chilly! But, surprisingly, our garden will give us plenty of food and produce to can.
Of course, we were happy that the sun came out this morning and it warmed up. So Will started work, once again, on our new storage building. The first quarter is now stacked nearly half full with cut, split firewood and that’s a gorgeous sight. (But we had a wood fire burning two days in a row. Just yesterday!)
I was a little nervous when he climbed up our long extension ladder with the chain saw, to cut off the tops of the two tallest poles. No, I was a LOT nervous. But he was very careful and the tops came off under control. Whew. Now tomorrow, we start nailing framing lumber on.
I love fishing (especially trout) and I want to try smoking and then canning the big ones with the nice orange meat…Sure could use some info on both.
To smoke your trout, clean very fresh-caught fish, then soak in a brine made of 1 1/2 cups pickling salt and 1 gallon of fresh, cold water. Totally cover the fish; use a weighted clean plate to hold them under the brine. Leave in the brine overnight. In the morning, rinse and pat dry. Place fish in smoker or smoke house, hanging from wire hooks with the belly held open by dowels or clean, green twigs. You want to smoke, not hotter than 160 degrees, for two hours. (This lightly smoked fish to can is NOT cooked and shouldn’t be tasted!) Use hardwood, such as apple, thorn apple, or alder. Or you can use commercial chips such as mesquite, if you wish. My “smoker” was simply an old dryer case and I smoked using an electric hot plate, an old cast iron frying pan, and chips in it to create the smoke.
After the fish is smoked, you can cut it into 1-inch thick pieces and pack gently into wide mouth pint jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Process pints (don’t use quarts) for 110 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. (Consider altitude adjustments in pressure if you live at an altitude over 1,000; consult your canning book for directions.)
Enjoy your fish! Smoked trout is GREAT! — Jackie
Canning collard greens
This year we have lots of collard greens and can’t eat them fast enough. I have looked through my canning books, but cannot find anything on canning collard greens. Pressure canner or water bath, cooked or uncooked, please help!
Collard greens are grouped in canning books under “greens.” This includes Swiss chard, kale, mustard, spinach, turnip, beet tops, poke, lamb’s quarter, and other wild greens. Briefly (but check your canning book for more information), wilt your greens, then pack hot into hot jars. Leave 1 inch of headspace. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to each pint and 1 tsp. to each quart, then fill jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace, with boiling water or cooking liquid. Process pints at 10 pounds pressure (unless you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet and must adjust your pressure to suit your altitude; consult your canning book) for 70 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes. — Jackie