Friday, April 29, 2011
I just can't stop canning! It must be my form of nesting, or something. Last week, I canned 13 (YES! 13) quarts of orange marmalade!
5 pounds of navel oranges, 2 lemons, 9 cups of sugar, water, and over an hour of stirring at the stove gave me my plentiful bounty.
Some jars became part of Easter baskets, some went to friends, and some went to co-workers. Who says only children don't know how to share?
Saturday, April 16, 2011
So, I stepped up my canning game from pickles (simple water bath) to chicken stock (pressure canning)! Since I had two leftover carcasses from whole organic chickens I had butchered early this year, I decided it was time to make some stock. The following recipe makes 4 quart jars of stock. Prep all jars, lids, and rings and set up your pressure canner according to the manufacture's instructions.
What you will need:
2 Chicken carcasses (This includes the back and wings with skin on. I cook the gizzards separately and give them dog and cat...they love them!)
4 Stalks of celery, roughly chopped with leaves
1 Medium yellow onion, cut into quarters
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Bay leaves
18 Cups water
Mix all ingredients in large stock pot over high heat. Bring to a boil. Turn down to low simmer. Simmer for 2 hours.
Remove from heat and remove all large pieces of chicken, celery, and onion with slotted spoon or skimmer.
Allow to cool to room temp and then place in fridge for a few hours or overnight. After stock has fully cooled, remove all hardened fat with skimmer. Pour stock through strainer lined with two to three layers of cheesecloth to remove all solid particles.
Bring stock back to a boil. Ladle or pour into quart jars, leaving 1 inch head space. Wipe rims with white vinegar to break down any oil that may have gotten on them. This will ensure a better seal. Place lids on and screw rings to finger-tight. Process jars for 25 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. Follow the proper canning instructions that were provided with your pressure canner.
And there you go! Yummy, healthy, homemade chicken stock to add to any recipe.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I just got back from Chicago for work. While most of the time we were stuck in the convention center, we were able to get out the first night and see some sites!
We visited Cloud Gate, otherwise known as "The Bean." The Bean is a sculpture made by Anish Kapoor and sits in Millennium Park. It bends the cityscape beautifully in the seamless surface and creates a House-of-Mirrors-effect on the viewer's body, and is so large you can walk underneath it. With all the people visiting The Bean, it reminded me how much people, like birds, are attracted to shiny objects.
I was also able to go to a three-story Old Navy that had a maternity section! It was so nice to be able to try on clothes and just put them back on the rack instead of shipping them back. I ended up getting a pair of shorts—I hate buying shorts to begin with, so maternity shorts really had me bothered!
All in all, it was a good trip, but I was very glad to come home.