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Simmered Beef Blackeyed Peas and Turnip Greens

Vicki Tells All – How She Got Hooked on Canning

“Special Thanks to Cajun Clark for his generosity in sharing this canning information.”

Growing up, we ate self-sufficiently.

“Well, Caj, when you ask me why, or how this all came to be about me canning. I had to figure that out myself before I could give an intelligent answer. Growing up, we ate self-sufficiently. Every vegetable we ate was from our own garden, canned to keep all year round. All the meat we had was from Daddy, trapping or shooting it.

“We ate really good, too”

We did eat some strange things though; like possum, raccoon, rattlesnake, skunk (we didn’t actually eat this. They fed this to the store keeper who ate pork and beans out of the can) (‘Be nice, Vicki, be nice.’), muskrat, wild goat, deer. That most of the time didn’t come out of a can, but you get the general idea.

I remember my mom saying one fall that she wished she had a hundred dollars to spend at the grocery store to get enough things to last through the winter. Most people spend a hundred dollars a week now days (I don’t), but this gives you the idea that we ate the majority of things we had out of jars canned at home.

“My grandmother is the type of woman who if you stop by her house, you have to eat with her if it is anywhere near mealtime. We always had a feast at her house, and except for the cornbread, it all came out of a jar. Simmered beef, okra, black eyed peas, turnip greens, pepper sauce, pickles, cream corn.

It was fit for royalty.

“I want to be able to feed guests the same way, and the neat thing is that it didn’t take a lot of time to prepare this for a meal. Simply because, it was already prepared. The jar just had to be opened and the contents heated up, so my grandmother had quality time with her quests and not all her time lost in the kitchen.

My mother cans everything

“My mother cans everything she can get her hands-on, and she gives what she doesn’t need to one of her three girls for their families. She never wanted the jars back when they were emptied. She always told me that I might decide one day to use them to can something. And she was right.

We’ll Make Plum Jelly

“We were transitioning from Texas to Virginia one summer when we happened to be in Alabama on our way north. The kids and I were walking and found some wild plums, and we picked them and took them back to Mamas. She immediately said, ‘We’ll make plum jelly.’ And she actually stood over me and made me prepare it. She and I both knew it was right then that I was caught, hook, line, and sinker! I loved it, and it gave me such a fulfilling feeling to look at those jars on the counter and imagine the enjoyment. We would all have been feasting on it later. And believe me, Caj, we did too!

Let’s Go Fishing…

“Now on to modern days, we live spontaneously, and do a lot of things on the spur of the moment. My husband walks in from work, and says, let’s all go fishing. right now! We can be gone for hours and who wants to cook after skinning catfish at 9:30 at night? So we open a few jars, carrots, some beans, stewed beef or deer, potatoes and tomatoes, dump ’em in the pot with a few seasonings, and quicker than you can say presto change-o! Instant Stew! Splendid stuff too. I guess you could say it’s sort of a prepare ahead thing, so that when you don’t have any time, all the ingredients are ready to go for a decent meal.

It’s Fun! It’s a Challenge

“Most of all though, it’s fun! It’s a challenge, and it is something that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And it makes me feel like a Proverbs 31 woman for sure.”

Talk about telling it all, Vicki most certainly did that; now onward. You know canning can be productive, result in better meals when you’re rushed, and it can be fun, too. But if you don’t know the two different types of canning processes, and everything you’ll ever need to know about jars, you need to. Soooo…


We ate 4 Year Old Beans, Canning Dry Beans

Video Transcript

[Music] time to hand some beans I have this bucket of beans in my basement because that’s where I keep some food and what kind of forgot they were there maybe for a couple of years three or four but who’s counting and I thought hey wouldn’t it be awesome to put them in some jars and pressure can them but first I need to make sure they are capable of being salvaged so dry beans do last a while in storage but the problem is after a while they can really dry out and they tend to not rehydrate very well so before I go to all the trouble and pressure canning news I want to make sure they are going to be edible in some way shape or form okay so I threw these in the instant pot for about thirty minutes and now it’s the moment of truth I have them here I’m gonna see if they are edible they’re actually pretty soft like they’re not crunchy at all they cooked up like I would expect beans to cook up even if they weren’t like four years old do I recommend leaving beans in your pantry for four years no I do not do these beans have the maximum nutritional value is a fresh bean would probably not but they’re edible they’re not stale they don’t taste bad but we can dok2 them up in stews and chilies and the kids will eat them for lunch so I’m going to turn these into some pantry fillers which brings me to my next point yes you need a pressure canner if you are canning beans or any other low acid food I tend to get into discussions sometimes with people because they say things like great Aunt Martha used to canned beans or meat or soup or whatever with a water bath canner and she didn’t die to which I respond good for Great Aunt Martha but the science says otherwise and it’s not worth playing a game of Russian roulette with your home canned foods therefore always follow approved recipes from a trusted source like the ball blue book this is my ancient copy or a website like the National Center for home food preservation the method I am using today is from the ball blue book it is approved it’s really important because botulism is a problem you guys it’s scary I’m sorry if you disagree with me any comment you leave trying to convince me otherwise won’t work because science we’re gonna get our pressure canner and we also need to get our beans ready I am using navy beans which it always confuses me a little bit why these are called navy beans cuz they’re right I always feel like they should be navy blue but you could also use pinto beans kidney beans chickpeas aka garbanzo beans any sort of dry bean you have in your cupboard I just stuck these in some water before I went to bed let him sit overnight and then this morning i drained the water put fresh water in the pan and let these cook for 30 minutes and that’s it so I have full canning tutorials on my blog and in my canning made easy eBook so I’m not going to go into all the ins and out of selecting a pressure canner all the details today if you need that information head over there to get it this is my pressure canner cut it for a long time is an all-american and I kind of love it [Applause] [Music] so I’m going to get the canner heating up with a couple inches of water in the bottom I have my rack down there so we don’t have any jar breakage it’s gonna start doing its thing while we fill up the jars with beans so one of the nice things about pressure canning is you don’t have to sterilize the jars first you want them clean and you want them hot but pressure canner is gonna get so hot while it does its thing it’ll sterilize the food and the jar so I’m just gonna wash these in hot water so they’re not cold when I put my hot beans inside and call it good all right I have my beans that are hot they just got done boiling for 30 minutes just to get them warm we’re not trying to cook them have my hot jars waiting funnels jar lifter Ledo let’s do this I am gonna add a teaspoon of sea salt to each quart jar this is totally for flavor it doesn’t do anything for the preservation so if you’re trying to avoid salt just leave it out [Music] I’m just gonna release any bubbles in here to make sure I don’t have any trapped air which will cause some liquid loss once we start canning make sure the the headspace is just right gonna wipe these rims real quick because ice clumped juice all over the place and I want to make sure my lids seal up [Music] all right the lid is on now I’m going to watch this little vent over here once steam starts coming out at the top I’m going to set my timer for 10 minutes and let it Bend that entire time you can’t see it but you can hear it there’s some steam coming out alright 10 minutes is up I’m gonna put my weight on the canner can’t see it cuz I’m it’s covering it up but I have it at the 15 pounds of pressure because we live at high altitude now I just have to wait until I hear this do its first little jingle once I hear that noise I’m gonna set the timer for an hour and a half so you need to process your quartz for an hour and a half your pints for an hour and 15 minutes and yes it’s important to go the whole time don’t skimp on the cooking time so while we’re waiting for that I wanted to take you in and show you the finished model horse barn so this is the finished product Christian made it all from scratch every last piece he hand cut the rough cut wood he did the little stone accents he did a pressed copper roof do you want to show us kind of give us a really quick tour what’s your favorite part buckle our favorite part of the barn is the sliding doors yeah those are pretty cool just like the real deal later stuff you have your girl in there hanging up her bridle cool Christian welded this little feeder out of some rod he had laying around and then this is just a stump of wood that he spray-painted green to look like hey so the horses have a round bale feeder just like just like our big horses huh yeah okay so this our house pretty easy for me I just need to make sure that it’s jiggling like that one to three times a minute once I get my burner kind of set where I need it to be I don’t have to sit here and stare at it thank goodness but I just want to make sure that it’s not jiggling constantly because that means the pressure is too high or if it’s not jiggling at all that means the pressure is too low so one two three jiggles per minute is kind of your sweet spot has completely depressurize so it’s down to zero pressure so I took off the weight and now we just need to open up the lid and see how we did so we may not hear any popping of the lids at this point because I’ve let this sit here for a couple hours before I remove the lid but it looks like so far all of the lids sealed no jars broke so fingers crossed the moment of truth I think they all sealed since these have cooled considerably and they’re sealed I’m gonna go ahead and take these rings off for storage I don’t leave the Rings on in the pantry because sometimes it can create a false seal or things can just get a little bit moldy or gross if there was any food residue that came out of the jar while the jars were processing and yes I did not do the dishes before I started recording this video so there you have it okay everybody grab a couple jars be really careful they’re heavy you can take one say gee it’s not hot just warm just hold it really careful okay all right time to take these downstairs to the larder so there’s been a lot of talk lately about being prepared and having food in case you have to stay in your house for a while there’s a lot of things going around on the news I know it feels really good to have food on hand so whether it is canning the pickles or the broth or the meat or the four year old navy beans the little bit of work is 100% worth it in my mind when it saves me from having to fill that need to run to the store every time the news report something new [Music] you

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