Sunday, December 11, 2011
I'm thinking I need to find my real camera for in the house winter pictures. Or wait til noon. Or something. There's just not enough light in my kitchen right now.
Ok, so I read the manufacturer's instruction book and recipes, cover to cover. I scoured the net again. I read blogs and forums and cooking sites.
Near as I can figure, you just need to know the processing time for the 'longest' ingredient. Any recipe will do.
So my second canning adventure, 6 pints of beef stew. Processed at 13lbs (I haven't got the heat/pressure ratio figured out on my stove yet, so I'm erring on the side of more pressure than less) for 1 hour 15 minutes (based completely arbitrarily on a few different recipes, no idea what the processing time for my longest ingredient actually was).
I made a big pot of stew for supper, planning to can the leftovers. Mixed everything in the roasting pan, set the oven for 250°F. About 2 hours in, I'm reading this forum, where another first timer was also asking questions about beef stew, and the experienced canners told him he was going to have jars of mush. Oops. Apparently you can stuff raw. Who knew? lol.
Ok, so I checked out my stew. Potatoes were still hard, and the meat wasn't too far past the defrosting stage. What the heck. I jarred it and started canning.
The end result- there is some mush in the jars. The green beans are looking pretty soggy. But the potatoes, carrots and meat look pretty good. So I think It'll be ok. It has the same orange coloured oily slime around the edges at the top as you see in store bought (one of the reasons I never eat that stuff). We'll see what Husband has to say when he actually eats it.
The one thing that concerns me, is when I opened the canner, after it depressurized, the smell of the stew was REALLY strong. I've never smelled my canned goods through the jars before. Is that normal? They all have good seals and no smell now.
Turkey for supper tonight. Turkey soup to can tomorrow!