Today I scored at the Farmers market with a gigantic head of cauliflower. Plus our Peppers are coming on heavy right now! So, into the kitchen I go!
The purpose of home canning and meal prepping is to prepare for times when fruits and vegetables and meats are not as abundant naturally. When an item is in season, it is more abundant and less expensive, this is the time to prepare for winter, especially when you live in the northern and Midwest areas. Winter can be harsh. We believe in canning what is in season, naturally, to help with budget costs, health benefits and being more ‘God sufficient’ than man sufficient. The other side point to preparing and budgeting your food storage is to better understand what a REAL portion of food is. America has gotten really bad at ‘super sizing’ and over convenience everything. We’ve gotten into the mindset of “getting our money’s worth” instead of planning and looking at what our body needs. The sugar and preservative addictions are just as bad as the “bad addictions”. Look at the rise of obesity, health issues, enabling etc. If we are stressed, we head strait for the candy jar, if a child is crying we hand them a sweet treat. I could go on and on about this subject, because I myself suffer from stress eating and weight issues. I come from a long line of Southern Cooks. I love my butter, gravy and I melt with Shrimp and Grits. Which is all fine, IN MODERATION.
But, back to preparing your pantry. Each year it is essential to take stock of what your family will need for the upcoming year until the next season arrives with more goodies. Also knowing crop rotation years help too. One year may be a great corn year, the next nothing.
Now the big thing I want you to really take notice of is the PORTION of each item. If we ate this way, I’m willing to bet, the weight loss programs out there would loose a lot of money and we would have more in our savings!
|Meats, Poultry, Fish||4x week, 36 weeks||1/2 cup||36 Pints||144 Pints|
|Soups||2x week, 36 weeks||1 cup||18 quarts||72 quarts|
|Jams, Jellies, Preserves||6x week, 52 weeks||2 tablespoons||40 1/2 pints||160 1/2 pints|
|Relishes||3x week, 52 weeks||1 tablespoon||5 pints||20 pints|
|Greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash||4x week, 36 weeks||1/2 cup||18 quarts||72 quarts|
|Pickled vegetables||2x week, 52 weeks||2 1/2 tablespoons||13 pints||52 pints|
|Juices and Tomatoes||7x week, 36 weeks||1 cup||63 quarts||252 quarts|
|All Other Fruits and Vegetables||14x week, 36 weeks||1/2 cup||76 quarts||304 quarts|
|Pickled Fruits, Pickled Eggs||2x week, 52 weeks||2 1/2 tablespoons/ 1 egg||13 quarts||52 quarts|
Did you slightly freak out over the portions? Puts things into perspective doesn’t it? Here is the thing I have discovered, when you utilize the mentality of using what you have on hand, you waste less, you eat less, and you have that pride of providing. It’s amazing how the world’s perspectives dissolve when you start living like this.
There are other items to consider as well, the meat covers what you should have in your freezer as well as canning, but there are dry goods to consider: Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda/powder, yeast, dried beans, rice, powders. Then your wet goods such as honey, syrups, molasses. Also your perishables, eggs & milk. There is also cellar storage to consider, potatoes, sweet potatoes, hard squash, apples. But all in all the portions stay the same. Now my favorite: Cheeses. I love real cheese, love it! But a portion is only 2 ounces. That’s the size of 2 dice.
I credit the knowledge of this from my Grandma Inez and my go to book “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery.
So learn to enjoy and appreciate what you have and you will find that your body and your savings will thank you!
Enjoy and let me know of your thoughts.
Until Next Time,
Mrs. Kay L. Rice
With the gardens being in full swing now that we reach the beginning of August, it is a very, very busy place here in the Rice household. Nothing and I do mean NOTHING goes to waste. God is truly blessing us this year with a bounty of fruits, berries and vegetables!
I have been receiving a lot of questions about times and what can be water bath canned and what has to be pressure canned. So, I decided to lay it out simply here. My two tried and true resources are my Grandma and Mom of course and my absolutely favorite resource book. The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. When my husband and I first started to become close, we discovered we had the exact same book. We truly are two peas in a pod. But anyway, here are the outlines for Canning.
Water Bath Canning (think fruits and pickles) The times and sizes are for after reaching a full boil in your canner.
- Apples Pints 20 min. Quarts 20 min.
- Applesauce Pints 20 min. Quarts 20 min.
- Apricots Pints 25 min. Quarts 30 min.
- Berries Pints 15 min. Quarts 20 min.
- Cherries (pitted) Pints 25 min. Quarts 25 min.
- Cranberries Pints 15 min. Quarts 15 min.
- Currants Pints 15 min. Quarts 15 min.
- Figs Pints 45 min. Quarts 50 Min.
- Fruit Juices Pints 5 min. Quarts 10 min.
- Peaches Pints 25 min. Quarts 30 min.
- Pears Pints 25 min. Quarts 30 min.
- Plums Pints 10 min. Quarts 10 min.
- Preserves Pints 20 min. Quarts 20 min.
- Rhubarb Pints 10 min. Quarts 10 min.
- Strawberries Pints 15 min . Quarts 15 min. (Better frozen)
- Tomatoes (yes tomatoes are a fruit) (you must add citric acid or lemon juice! To water bath tomatoes!!!!! More to come) Pints 35 min. Quarts 45 min.
- Tomato Juice Pints 35 min. Quarts 40 Minutes.
These are the times for Ohio, if you live in a higher altitude location it can range from 5 – 15 minutes additional. Check your local agriculture site.
Now comes the fun one! PRESSURE CANNING.
Please learn how to use a Pressure Canner and maintenance and check it well before you use. They can be dangerous. You will be canning at 11 lbs of pressure but you want to check for the altitude adjustments for you area.The vegetables listed here are for NON PICKLED. Canning pickles is another category for another time.
- Meats Pints 75 min Quarts 90 min
- Fish Pints 100 min Quarts 100 min
- Asparagus Pints 30 min Quarts 40 min
- Beans (snap, wax, green, yellow, purple) Pints 20 min Quarts 25 min
- Beans, Lima Pints 40 min Quarts 50 minutes
- Beets Pints 30 min Quarts 35 minutes
- Broccoli Pints 25 min Quarts 40 min (better frozen)
- Brussels Sprouts Pints 45 min Quarts 55 min (better frozen)
- Cabbage Pints 45 min Quarts 55 min
- Carrots Pints 25 min Quarts 30 min
- Cauliflower Pints 25 min Quarts 40 min
- Corn Pints 55 min. Quarts 85 min
- Greens Pints 70 min Quarts 90 min
- Hominy Pints 60 min Quarts 70 min
- Mushrooms Pints 45 min QUARTS NO NO NO!
- Okra Pints 25 min Quarts 40 min (Better frozen)
- Onions Pints 40 min Quarts 40 min
- Parsnips Pints 20 min Quarts 25 min
- Peas Pints 40 min Quarts 40 min (much better frozen)
- Peppers, green Pints 35 min Quarts 35 min
- Peppers, hot Pints 35 min Quarts 35 min
- Potatoes NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
- Pumpkin (in chunks not pureed) Pints 55 min Quarts 90 min.
- Rutabagas Pints 35 min Quarts 35 min.
- Squash, winter (in chunks not pureed) Pints 55 min Quarts 90 minutes.
- Turnips Pints 20 min. Quarts 25 min.
So those are the times for the sizes of what I do most. If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email and I will get back to you.
Until Next Time,
Mrs. Kay L. Rice
The Very BEST Spicy Pickled Eggs
By now you know that here at the Rice household, we love a little kick to our foods, from my husband’s homemade hot sauces, to our home made jams to our food in general.
A treat from our childhood is Pickled Eggs! Yup, it may sound weird but I bet y’all have seen them in bars, stores, country places. There are Beet Eggs (pink/purple), mustard eggs (yellow), Cider Vinegar eggs (kind of a cider color), but my favorite are SPICY PICKLED EGGS. Yum! Please note that the picture you see here, has already been opened and enjoyed… It barely made the 3 week mark.
Here is my recipe, and yes, this is a water bath canning recipe. If y’all don’t want to mess with the water bath canning then stick them in the refrigerator for 3 weeks before digging into them. Canning them lets you keep them in the pantry until you are ready to dig in!
Ingredients (for a one gallon batch):
- A bunch of hard boiled (solid) eggs. Since I like to can in gallon jars, I make about two dozen. Make sure your hard boiled eggs are not “split” and that the yokes are solid, they can not be soft or runny.
- Quart or Gallon canning jar
- 1/4 cup of sriracha sauce
- 4 whole cloves (crushed) garlic
- Peppers. I used 2 Roasted Mexican Hatch, 1 red habanero and 2 green habaneros oh and a red jalapeno I had on hand. Chopped but not so fine that they disappear. I like big pieces.
- White Vinegar
- Like I stated above, make sure your hard boiled eggs are firm all the way through. Do not use squishy or one minute eggs, this would be very, very bad.
- Take your sterilized jar/jars and in the bottom, put your peppers, your crushed whole garlic, and your sriracha sauce.
- Now put in your hard boiled eggs (yes the shells off and rinse them).
- Place them in the jar until it fills about 1 1/2 inches from the top but don’t squish them down, let them lay naturally on top of each other.
- Now fill the jar up with the vinegar until you have your eggs covered and it should be 1/2 an inch form the top.
- Wipe of the jar rim and place your lid and ring on TIGHT.
- Now if you are not wanting to can them, put them in the refrigerator and AVOID the urge to break into them before the 3 week mark. The longer they sit, the better they are.
- But If you have lots of eggs (gotta love it when the hens are working overtime) you will want to water bath can.
- Get your canner with enough water to cover the lid by 1 inch of water. Make sure it won’t spill out when boiling. Because of this you may want to use quart jars.
- Lower your jars in the water bath canner and put the lid on.
- Once your canner comes to a rolling boil, start timing.
- Quarts need 20 minutes of a water bath, gallons need 30 minutes.
- When the time is up, very gently remove your jars from the canner and place somewhere where they won’t be disturbed for 24 hours.
- The pops mean you have a good seal.
- Anything that hasn’t sealed put in the refrigerator and those will be the first you eat.
- After 24 hours, you can move your jars to your pantry until you are ready to dig in and enjoy!
- Once the jar is opened, I always put them in the refrigerator, but trust me they really don’t last long because they get eaten up pretty fast.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and please let me know how you like it.
Until next time,
Mrs. Kay Rice!
Chicken/Turkey Veggie Soup
Winter is my favorite time of year for soups! With so many holiday turkey and chicken left overs it makes it even better! What is even better, is the ability to can your soups for later use!
When it comes to canning soup, you ALWAYS MUST can in accordance with your highest canning specification ingredient! That means if it has any meat or beans you MUST use the meat/bean specification. You also MUST PRESSURE CAN!
With that said, here is the Rice Family Chicken/Turkey Soup Recipe.
Hot, steaming bowl of chicken soup is sure to cure the winter blahs. Customize your homemade chicken soup with egg noodles, broken bits of vermicelli or rice while heating, just before serving NOT during the preserving process.
YOU WILL NEED
- 16 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups diced chicken (about 1 3-lb chicken) (or Turkey)
- 1-1/2 cups diced celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1-1/2 cups sliced carrots (about 3 medium)
- 1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium)
- Salt, optional
- Pepper, optional
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes, optional
- 4 quart canning jars or 8 pint canning size jars (or approximately 16 half pint canning jars for single serving)
*You must process at least 2 quart jars or 4 pint jars in the pressure canner at one time to ensure safe processing.
- PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
- COMBINE chicken stock, chicken, celery, carrots and onion in a large saucepot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Add bouillon cubes, if desired. Cook until bouillon cubes are dissolved.
- LADLE hot chicken soup into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
- PROCESS filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure 1 hour and 15 minutes for pints and 1 hour and 30 minutes for quarts, adjusting for altitude, according to your pressure canners directions. Turn off heat: cool canner to zero pressure. Let stand 5 more minutes before removing the lid. Cool jars in canner 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Enjoy the warmth!
Until next time,
Mrs. Kay L. Rice
If you know my husband you know that there are always hot peppers in this house and in a high percentage of our meals. So when we were blessed with a big vegetable box filled with a wide range of hot peppers we were in heaven. But what to do with this wide range of different types of peppers created a moment of pause. Then it came to me Pickled Hot Peppers aka Cowboy Candy!
My husband absolutely loved the outcome so here is the recipe. Since it’s pickling peppers, it’s water bath canning to preserve!
Cowboy Candy (Pickled Mixed Hot Peppers)
- 1 lb mixed hot peppers sliced (Wear gloves & yes, keep the seeds in the pepper slices)
- 2/3 cups Apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp mustard seeds (whole)
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ground
- 1/4 garlic powder
This makes 2 pints or 4 half-pints.
Make sure you sterilize and prep your jars, lids & water bath canner as you normally do to water-bath can.
- Put on latex gloves!!!!!!!! Do not touch your face! 😨😨😨😨
- Slice your mixed peppers into rings keeping the seeds inside the rings.
- In a large pot mix your vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seed, cayenne pepper and garlic powder together.
- Bring to a rolling boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Make sure you are stirring the mixture through these steps so the sugar doesn’t scorch.
- Add in all the peppers.
- Simmer and stir for another 5 minutes.
- Carefully fill your jars leaving 1/4 headspace.
- Wipe the rims clean, add your lids, place in your water-bath canner.
- Make sure the water is at least 1 inch over your tallest jat.
- After reaching a rolling boil your canning time is 15 minutes.
- When time is up remove from heat.
- Take jars out of canner and place in a quiet, stable, cool area.
- When you hear the pop the jar sealed.
- Leave to cool overnight.
My husband loves these peppers! He has them on sandwiches, as a side even in scrambled eggs! I’d love to hear your comments on them.
Until next time,
Mrs. Kay L Rice
My husband and I absolutely love beets. These hearty root vegetables are full of vitamins and the color can perk up any meal or relish tray.
Most people think of pickled beets when you mention them. While we do enjoy them pickled, especially the little ones, we enjoy them roasted, boiled, in soups and stews, as a slaw type salad with horseradish (let me know if you want that little gem of a recipe), all kinds of ways.
With all that said I will also add that canning beats for winter is one of the most labor intensive vegetables I can. Next to squash and pumpkin.
Here we go:
To make my life easier I wash them and rinse them whole (with their tops & bottoms intact) the night before. If you use your sink, please, bleach clean your sink and rinse well before putting in your beets to scrub. After scrubbing replace your dirty water with clean water and you can soak overnight if you wish.
Beets MUST be pressure canned. So please familiarize yourself with your canner. Know how to properly operate, clean, maintenance, use and store.
As with any canning process make sure you sterilize your jars. I use the boiling method.
It is recommended that beets are preboiled or preroasted before canning. Raw packing is not recommended in most root vegetables.
Do yourself a favor. Wear latex gloves when working with Beets.
I sort my baby beets from my large beets. Cut off the tops leave the root to prevent maximum bleedout, and put in two separate pots. Add water to cover and a teaspoon of white vinegar to the water (also helps with bleeding). Cook them approximately 30 min. Less for the baby ones. Move to cold water and slip off the skins. Dump the boil water outside and not in your fresh cold water. Just saying.
Cool, cut off the root & peel off the skin and cut up. You cut up beets to improve and even out heat throughout. Baby beets are small enough that they can be left whole. However, all needs the roots cut off & the skins removed.
Now that you are totally exhausted, we begin the packing and processing process.
Pack your beets into sterilized jars. Cover with fresh boiling water leaving 1/2inch of headspace. Optional: add 1/2 tsp salt per pint / 1 tsp per quart; add 1 tablespoon vinegar per pint/ 2 tablespoons per quart. This does not create pickled beets.
Prepare and vent your canner as instructed. Pints are pressure canned for 30 minutes quarts are pressure canned for 35 min. These times are started when your pressure meets the specifications for your location sea level. For me its at 11lbs. Yes area hieght makes a difference.
Again do not remove your lid until the button naturally comes down and the pressure gauge show 0 zero pressure.
Remove careful. Let set for 24 hours in a safe place & count your “POPs”. Anything unsealed after 24 hours refrigerate and use first.
Kay L Rice
(References if knowledge come from my Grandma, my mom & from “The Encyclopedia of Country Living)
A staple in our home is the basic green bean. I will say for the most part in this household we doctor up our green beans with onion, garlic & of course jalapeño peppers. However, the following is just your basic run of the mill green beans canning recipe. Enjoy.
We get our green beans mostly from farm markets and always in season. A half bushel should give you approximately 13 quarts of snapped green beans.
First wash and snap your green beans.
I like to give the a quick blanch wash of three minutes in boiling water. However, some people don’t do this. It’s up to you. The argument is that cold packing keeps the beans crisper. I don’t notice a difference.
As always make sure your glass quart jars are sterilized by boiling or dishwasher.
Take your center lids and steep them in boiling water while you work on filing the jars.
Now, I use quart jars because honestly, pint jars of green beans is rather skimpy for me, in size. Green beans warm up well with leftovers, so to me, it’s easier to put then up as quarts.
Fill your jar to the base of the neck with your beans.
Fill all your jars.
If you add salt use a pickling and preserving salt. This will prevent a cloudiness in your beans.
Add water to the jars but leave a 1 inch headspace.
Wipe the rims with a clean towel.
Place your rims on your jars. I use a magnet stick to pull my kids out of the hot water.
Attach the ring to the lid. Tighten the lid but not so much that you strain something.
Place the jars in the canner. Add water to your canner, per specification and size of your canner. You can also add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water in the canner to prevent calcium buildup.
Put your lid on your canner and click it shut. Leave the stopper off. Turn on the heat. I generally start mine at 7 never full blast heat.
Once you start to get a steady stream of steam from the vent set the timer to 10 minutes.
When the timer goes off your button should be straight up. When the button is up put your ‘stopper’ on.
Watch your gauge closely when you hit 11-12 lbs start your timer for 25 minutes for quarts (20 min for pints).
Please watch your pressure gauge closely adjusting your heat appropriately to keep it at 11-12 lbs. Do NOT ever leave your canner unattended during this phase. It only takes a second to hit a dangerous level of pressure.
When your timer goes off. Turn off the heat and leave the canner alone. Do not fiddle with the stopper, or the button and no matter what do NOT be a dork and open the canner. It will take a while, 30 min or so, to naturally cool down.
When the button drops it will be safe to open your canner.
There WILL be hot steam. Do not be careless while taking the lid off. Skin does not grow back easily!
Gently remove your jars and place them in a prepared place on a thick towel to cool. This place should be out of the reach of kids, pets etc. And will need to stay in this place for 24 hours.
Once your jars begin to cool you will hear that lovely sound. POP! This means a jar has sealed. There should be a pop for each jar. Don’t try to cheat and push the lids to make them seal, they won’t.
If you have a jar that doesn’t seal, put it in the refrigerator & use it first.
Never reuse your center lids. The only parts that can be reused are the rings & the jars.
Mark your lids with contents & date & move to your pantry.
Mrs. Kay L Rice
Canning is a skill that both men & women should be comfortable with. That’s just my opinion, of course. There is much to he said for providing for yourself. The pride in doing so, the benefits of not having unnecessary gunk added to your food & the cost.
At our home we buy dried beans to store in our dry goods shelves & can them Rehydrated for the quick meal later down the road. One bag of black beans can give you 7 pints of Rehydrated beans for ready to use meals.
Beans, like meats, must be processed in a pressure canner. Pints take 75 minutes to can (once pressure is reached). Do yourself a favor and dedicate the day to do a bunch of beans! It’s well worth the time and effort because that single page of dried black beans may cost you approximately $1.49 but when you can get 7-8 pints out of it you are looking at 22¢ a pint, with flavors you decide.
So here we go!
Please make sure you know how to properly operate, maintenance, check and care for a pressure canner before you can.
I hot soak my bag of beans for about half a day. Making sure any stones or icky beans are disposed of.
Make sure that your pint jars are sterilized. Taking them out of a sealed box does not mean ready to go. Either boil your jars your run the through the dishwasher. I prefer to boil.
Off to the side put your center rings in a bowl and put hot boiling water over them and let them sit.
Take your clean jars and measure 2/3 cup of black beans into each jar. This is only if you have not completely Rehydrated them. They will need room to expand as they cook during the canning process.
If you add salt use salt specifically for pickling and preserving. This prevents a cloudiness to your beans.
You can add other seasonings at this point as well like chili peppers, jalapeño peppers, ancho powder, etc.
Add hot water to each jar but leave 1 inch of headspace. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean towel.
Place the center lid on your jar.
I use a magnet stick to pull out the lids from the hot water.
Now put in your outer ring. Tight but not Goliath tight.
Place them in your pressure canner according to YOUR canners specifications & size.
Put the water in the canner to your canners specifications.
After checking your lid, band, exhaust tube put on your lid until it fits correct and shuts.
Turn on the heat, I start at 7 on my electric range. Do NOT go maximum heat. Leave your ‘stopper’ off.
When you start to get a steady stream of steam from the stopper tube, set your timer for 10 minutes. Never walk away from your canner!
When the timer goes off, the latch in the back should be up.
Now put your ‘stopper’on the vent. Watch closely as the pressure raises to 12 lbs.
Set your timer for 75 minutes. You will need to adjust your heat to keep it at 11-12 lbs pressure. By the end my range is normally at about 3 on the eye heat. Do not leave unattended! It only takes seconds to jump to a dangerous pressure weight.
When your timer goes off, turn the heat off the eye, leave the canner alone & for the love of all things good do not release the stopper or try to open the canner!!!!
It will take a while, like almost an hour, to naturally cool and release the pressure. When the button goes down on its own and the gauge reads 0 only then do you open the canner.
THERE WILL BE HOT STEAM!!!! Don’t be a dork when taking the lid off! Use caution!
Make sure you place a towel where your jars can sit undisturbed to cool (away from kids, pets, etc.) For at least 24 hours.
Using your jar tongs take the jars out of the canner and place on towel.
As your jars cool you will hear that magical sound of POP. You should hear a pop for each jar.
Do NOT push the lids to force a pop. The jars must pop naturally to seal.
Let cool. Mark your lids after 24 hours and put on your shelf for use.
If you have a jar that does not seal, put it in the refrigerator and use first.
Never, ever, ever reuse the center lid. You only reuse the rim/ring and jar!
Mrs. Kay L. Rice