Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Canning Adventure: Part 2

Canning is a complicated process, even more so when canning meats, seafood, tomatoes and other acid foods, which require pressure canning for safety. I don't dare to try to explain how it is done here.  The best online resource I have found is The National Center for Home Food Preservation

This was pre-canning, it is generally recommended that jars be kept in simmering water prior to hot packing.  Our water comes out of the tap simmering so I decided that this was alright.
The pot on the right is the pressure canner without it's cover, water heating to boil.  On the left is the stock heating up for hot-packing. And of course our beautiful stove.
This is not all the jars of stock that I canned this day, I did 5 quarts of chicken stock and 4 quarts of shrimp stock.  I feel like we are going to save quite a bit of money particularly on seafood stock and can't wait to make shrimp risotto with it!
We've also already used some of the stock and I'm proud to report, we're still alive and well.

Monday, August 30, 2010

La La Land

So the weekend felt like it was longer than two days, maybe because we had an unexpected adventure/project. Or, maybe, it was because we got a lot of sleep, who knows. What I do know is that this morning I have gotten unexpectedly side-tracked from my mile-long To-Do list.
My frustration this weekend and the source of my distraction this morning was a particle board, Walmart, warped dresser.  I hate it, in my opinion it should have gone into the dumpster, its been broken for years and continues to get even more broken as time goes by. I loathe it so much I don't even have any pictures of it. As I was putting away mountains of laundry the bottom of one of the drawers fell out, again. Which landed me on craig'slist that night looking for a new piece, following up this morning I magically ended up at CB2, looking at bedding.

I love it, the name is doodle. I'm creating a whole new bedroom color scheme around it. It's the first thing I'm buying with my first paycheck.
Back to reality, the job hunt, thesis printing, food shopping, and working to the project we started yesterday.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Adventures on Vacation

During my hiatus, Bruce had an actual vacation, which we spent together with my Nana, cousins, etc. at the family summer cottage.  We didn't do much, lots of reading, swimming, eating and drinking.
My family also decided that we needed a few trees taken down, one of which had grown over the house.  So we had a professional company come with a crane to remove it.  When the tree company arrived we were a little confused about how they were going to do it, but when they got right down to it we were amazed.
They took the sections up and over the house (and power lines), then around and down by the driveway.  Other than the beautiful wedding we attended Saturday; the tree removal was the most exciting adventure we had on vacation.  It was an amazing opportunity to recharge.  But now back to reality, the house needs to be cleaned, there is lots of laundry, the garden it hurting, the lawn hasn't been mowed in weeks and I need to find a job!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fruits of Our Labor

The garden has been out of control all month, I decided to let it go unattended while I was away.  It wasn't looking very promising anyway, the first time I came back there was some progress, the second time there were some flowers on a few things and when we got home on Sunday I was pleasantly surprised.  The tomato plants are taller than me and finally have some flowers and fruit, the peppers are flowering, as are the acorn squash and butternut squash, and drumroll please there were actual beans growing!!!!

These are the two that we ate the other night, it was pretty gratifying especially we I had pretty much given up on getting anything to grow in our low sunlight garden.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Canning Adventure: Part 1

Before I left on my hiatus, I took advantage of my new stove and my pressure canned that I had yet to use.  If you'll remember back to the winter when I had the grand idea to can my own chicken stock, bought all the supplies, including a pressure canner, then realized that I couldn't use on our old and busted stove.

A quick review of the steps to create stock.
Step 1: Eat the protien.
For chicken stock I use the bones from a whole chicken or save the tips from chicken wings and roast them.
For shrimp stock I save the shells.
For veggie stock, you would save the trimmings from veggies.
For beef stock you need beef bones.
Step 2: Bring to a boil and simmer for hours, with aromatics.
Aromatics such as celery, carrots, onions, garlic, herbs, etc.
Step 3: Strain
I use a colander for the big pieces.
Then cheesecloth for the smaller pieces. I use an elastic to keep the cheesecloth on the top of a pitcher, this way I know how much stock I have and its easy to pour back into the pot. (The dish is to catch the drips)
Check back later for the rest of the story.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Did I forget to mention that I was leaving The Adventure for a few weeks?  Sorry about that.  I've been here:

Hanging out with my Nana, who at 90 is amazing.  Also with my cousins and Goddaughter and assorted other family. Kenny also learned how to swim.

I have lots of things to share from before and after my hiatus so stay tuned.