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It is always fun to go out to the garden and find the fruits of your labor. With zucchini, it never ceases to amaze me how well those buggers can hide. Just when you think you are staying on top of picking the nice, tender, normal sized version of the vegetable to cook for your dinner, suddenly there appears before your eyes the humongous monster zucchini that you hadn't seen until that very moment. This is the time of year when those of you who grow zucchini should be having it come out of your ears! This zucchini relish is one of our favorite ways to use those large harvests of zucchini and yellow summer squash. I actually put up this recipe a few years ago, but decided it was time to pull it back out for you with a bit of an update! I hope you enjoy it!
I learned from my Uncle Paul and his wife, Melba, how to make Zucchini Relish. It is actually a recipe Melba got as a girl in school. Uncle Paul used to make it by the gallons to give as gifts. My kids love it better than cucumber relish. It is a great way to use up all of those fabulous zucchini from your garden.
As you can see by the picture above, We also mix in the yellow crook-neck squash as well. It adds a lot of pretty color to the jar. Here is the recipe.
This recipe relies heavily on the food processor! Mine made fast work of all of that grating!
Mix all of the vegetables with the salt. Then cover and let stand for 5-24 hours. (I always do the 24 hours, or at least over night because after all that grating, I am ready for a break.)
The next day, use a large colander to drain and rinse the mixture well. (I don't own this one, but now that I see it, I want it!) Then, use a very large pot for the next part of the recipe. Click the pictures to see what was happening.
Put the relish into pint jars, clean the rims and add the lids. Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. (Here is t.he kind I've used for years) All of that vinegar used in pickling means you don't need to pressure can this recipe! Remove from the canner and allow the jars to cool and listen for the pop that to signify the sealing of the lids! If you have any left over relish in the pan, put it in a bowl in the fridge to use first!
Now, all you have to do is grill up some dogs or brats and enjoy your relish! You will love it.
When it comes to large bowls, I have always relied on my huge Tupperware bowls when I need something that will hold a lot! This one holds 32 cups!
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If you have followed the blog for very long, you know that I really enjoy canning. I love the feeling of accomplishment it gives me and the peace of mind from knowing that I have food to give my family that I know exactly what is in it. This year I set a goal to get more canning done. I was able to work on that goal last week because I purchased a bunch of chicken at a really good price!
Pressure Canning Meats
Many people have canned fruits and vegetable for years, but canning meat frightens them. But, there is actually no reason to be afraid of the process because it is much easier to do than you may think.
1 pressure canner: There are various sizes and styles of pressure canners. They come with directions about how to use them. Mine is a 16 quart canner, but there are other sizes. Actually, I could do an entire post about pressure canners, but they are pretty simple to use, and safe as long as you follow the directions. Here are a few options, click on them to find out about them:
Jars: I like to use wide mouth pint jars for meat, although I have use quarts and regular mouth. The reason I prefer pints is because sometimes that is all of the meat that you need and if you need more, you can just get another jar to use. Wide mouth jars make it easy to load the jars and to get the contents out when you are ready to.
Lids and rings: Be sure to have the proper size for your jars. If you purchased new jars, they will come with lids and rings. You can reuse the rings after emptying the jar the first time, but you will have to replace the lids. You can buy them separately.
A canning tool Kit: This kit includes a jar lifter, a magnet, a funnel and other tools that make canning much easier!
How to Begin
1-Make sure your canner is ready by inspecting the gasket and the exhaust opening.
2-Clean and sterilize your jars. Get your lids ready like you would for any other canning job.
3-When canning chicken, it is best to precook it slightly before filling your jars. Cut it into uniform chunks and saute and season the meat anyway you would like and cook until still slightly pink. I seasoned with pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. I didn't add salt because I put canning salt in each jar.
4-When the chicken is ready, start filling your jars with the chicken. Fill your jars with the chunks, not too tightly, and leave 1” headroom at the top. You may add about ¼ tsp. of canning salt if desired.
5-I used the drippings left from the chicken in the pan to make a broth to pour over the chicken in the jars. I just added water and stirred. Then, using a wide mouthed funnel, ladle the broth over the chicken chunks in each jar, still leaving the 1" headroom at the top.
6-Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rim of the jar. Put on the lid and ring, fastening firmly, but not too tightly.
7-Place the jars in the pressure canner. Follow the directions for your canner and process pints for 75 min. and quarts for 90 min. When finished, let the pressure cooker cool down on its own before opening. You will hear the jars sealing! When the canner has cooled down properly, use the jar lifter to take the jars out of the canner. Let them finish cooling, wash the jars off before storing them. Don't forget to write what is in the jar and the date on the lid!
If everything seals properly, your meat will store on the shelf for a year or longer.
*Check with the USDA website for all of the safeguards and recommendations.
You can use your canned chickens for many recipes and casseroles! Here are a couple to check out:
For more canning recipes and tips, click here for our canning category!
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I am back with a new recipe, and I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Are you gearing up for all the holiday festivities of Christmas? I really wanted to get the house decorated the day after Thanksgiving. It took a little longer that planned, and to be honest, our tree is still not completely decorated. I am so pregnant. Plus it was 90 degrees here the day after Thanksgiving. Actually, that whole weekend was hot. Who wants hot weather at Thanksgiving? NOBODY!
That is actually one reason why I love this recipe this week because making it made our house smell like fall!!!
Remember this post where my mom canned some of the apples that she and I bought? Well I decided with the leftover ones I was going to make apple butter and can it.
I have really enjoyed getting into canning this year. I hope to bring you more canning recipes. Canning is a great way to build your food storage! It is actually a lot of fun! This recipe is so simple. Once you peel and core the apples you leave them in the crock pot for a solid 8-10 hours. I did mine overnight and then I canned when I woke up in the morning. Your whole house will smell like apple pie. You're welcome. Here are a few tips:
1. I did not chop up the apples after I peeled and cored them. Also, I didn't worry about any little bits of skin left on the apples.
2. Speaking of peeling and coring, make sure you have a good apple peeler, it makes all the difference.
3. Really pack your apples in. I just peeled and sliced until my 6 quart crock pot was full, but after ten hours it cooks down. I ended up doing two batches and got three cans out of each. I think if I had done them all together I could have gotten seven jars of apple butter. So pack those apples in there because they'll reduce down while cooking.
4. I did a water bath for the canning. Now, here are some rules about canning that I didn't follow: you are not supposed to let your jars touch the bottom of your pot. You should use a canner to keep them in place and separate. I just stuck them in the pot. Luckily, they did not break. However, be wise, and use a canner so you can be assured that all of your cans will come out of the pot and you won't have any apple butter casualties (trust me, nobody wants that.)
5. Have plenty of snacks on hand to spread on your apple butter. It's really delicious.
6. Enjoy it! Share it with your adorable 18 month old nephew who will inhale it like apple sauce. Be in love with his cute little apple butter covered face. That's what I did and I highly recommend it.
DON'T FORGET! If you're in the Phoenix area this Saturday come see us at the Ugly Sweater Express! We'll be selling our famous Hot Cocoa Bombs! You can try them out, sign up for our email, and much much more!!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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