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Monday, June 4, 2007

Canning - the answer to quick food

On Sunday my friend came over and we made Jambalaya and chili. The jambalaya turned out great. She brought this great spicy sausage that really added a great flavor to the dish. We chopped, sliced, diced, and generally made a huge mess in the kitchen. My friend hadn't canned before, so this was a learning experience for her. I think the canning process was easier than she originally thought. Canning isn't that difficult. The really neat part is that you don't have to spend all day in the kitchen. We did because we decided to make two different meals. My big tip for anyone wanting to can soups and chilis is to cook them one day and to can them the next. The reason for this is the grease that will rise to the top after cooling off in the fridge for the night. We cooked a large batch of chili and while the flavor was great, I could taste grease in the chili I ate the day we made it. After letting the chili sit all night, there was quite a bit of grease that had risen to the top. Not only is this healthier for a person, I think it tastes much better with no grease. I know. You are thinking that I should just drain the meat, right? I did, but the meat I used came from a split side of beef and some of it is greasy. For anyone who wants to know, canning chili is simple. All you have to do is cook your chili, put it into clean, sterilized canning jars, add lids and liners, and place it in a canner with enough water so that 1/3 of each jar is covered. Put the lid on the canner and adjust to 10 pounds of pressure. Bring the canner to a boil and cook under ten pounds of pressure for 35 minutes.Have fun canning! It is a great way to have the good food you like any time you want

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