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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meanwhile, in the kitchen...

I got myself a pressure canner about a month ago and I've been canning almost every day since. Unfortunately, the new canner missed our hefty tomato season, so homemade sauce hasn't been too prominent in the mason jars, but I'm hoping I may find some sales on local stuff soon so I can cook up a storm.

In the meantime, I've been canning tons of dried beans and chili. Canning dried beans is one of the reasons I stepped up and got myself a pressure canner in lieu of my hot bath canner. I needed something a little more intensive that would preserve almost anything I threw at it. If you're not familiar with the difference between hot bath canning and pressure canning, you can read up here. It's pretty much a matter of temperature and effectively killing off bacteria.

I buy a 5 pound bag of black beans for $4.99 at the local Price Rite. I get about a dozen pint jars of black beans, cooked and ready to go. I like the pint jars because it's pretty much a single serving for dinner. One amazing thing I discovered after trying to really cool chili recipe was that you can put the dried beans in the mason jar without cooking it, can it, and the end result will be perfectly cooked beans.

I've been doing vegetarian chili and putting it up, but it doesn't last long. Chris seems to love it, and for the past 2 weeks or so, the chili has dwindled from at least a dozen quart jars down to 3 or 4.
Chili, black beans, chickpeas, all sorts of noms!

I'm hoping that since we've got the cellar all cleaned up and organized, Chris will assemble a shelf for me so I can store everything down there. I don't have any plans of slowing down and my ideas just keep multiplying! I think I may run out of mason jars very soon, though.

My friends already thought I was completely bonkers. I'm pretty sure they're all coming to my house after the impending doom of humanity scheduled to occur in December (ahahaha!).

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