Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dinner in a Jar

When I have to work in the evening which, unfortunately, happens often, my husband looks in the fridge and says, "So, what am I supposed to cook?" If I've had time to go shopping, I try to have a meal planned for him, so he doesn't have to go to the store after he gets home from work. Lately, I have hardly had any time to do anything useful like get groceries or sleep or even breathe, I've been working so much.

Tonight was my one night home for dinner out of the week so, since I was going to cook, I made a double batch of Beef Stroganoff. This recipe comes from my mother-in-law, and is one of my husband's favorites. After everything had simmered for a hour I put up 2 quarts and processed them for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. Now there will be a couple of meals, at least. Just add sour cream and serve over noodles. The 5-year-old eats the noodles, anyway.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Too Much Rice

I had intended to make chicken and rice soup. I seem to have made, quite by accident, chicken and rice casserole. This is what happens when you get distracted by the TV and knitting while cooking and when you add too much rice to something. After all, if 2 cups is good, 3 must be better, right?


Today's recipe: 2 frozen chicken leftovers (bones and some meat) plus 8 pints of water, simmered with kosher salt, pepper, bay and thyme.

4 pints of chicken stock were processed, 20 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

The meat, the rest of the stock, 5 more pints of water, were added to chopped leeks, celery and carrots which had been sauteed lightly in olive oil. More salt and pepper, and some sage. Simmered for about an hour then the 3 (should be 2) cups of rice were added. When I got back to it about 20 minutes later, all the liquid was absorbed and the "soup" filled the pot. I added about 4 more cups of water and more salt, and processed 6 pints of this mixture. 75 minutes, 10 pounds of pressure. We'll have the rest for dinner.

There is a lot of it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day O'Frustration

We've all had these days, right?

This weekend I had plans. The kind of plans that involve cooking a lot of unrelated things all at the same time because I have lots of different things on my mind. Today's plans revolved around canning soup, making bread, and making cookies. All double batches, mind you.

The only thing that worked as planned was the soup. Somehow I killed the yeast in the bread and the loaves didn't rise, and we ran out of brown sugar for the cookies and the texture was off - probably partly due to using regular sugar and molasses in the place of the brown sugar, and partly due to the "light butter" that has replaced my usual butter blend in the store. NOT buying that again. It's lousy for tadic, too. I couldn't salvage the bread but the cookies are at least edible, even if they don't look the same.

Here's the soup recipe:

Beef, Broccolini and Rice Soup
1 thick slab of prime rib
1 package stew beef & bones
2 leeks, sliced thinly
2 shallots, minced
5 ribs celery, diced
2 cups chopped cooked broccolini
1 package crimini mushrooms, sliced
kosher salt, pepper, bay, thyme
Worcestershire sauce (about 1 T.)
1 large can whole pack tomatoes in puree (about 3.5 cups)
17 cups water
3-4 cups of rice

I browned the stew beef, shallots, leeks and celery in oil and added the tomatoes, water, Worcestershire sauce and spices. This simmered for about an hour and then I removed the bones. I added the prime rib, cubed, and the broccolini and mushrooms. After about another 30 minutes I added the rice, cooked it through, and then canned it. This yielded 14 pints, the maximum the pressure canner holds, and 1 bowl for later. Processed at 10 pounds of pressure for 75 minutes.

They all sealed. That's one food thing that went right. After all that work, we ordered a pizza for dinner.

Friday, January 7, 2011

First Jam of the New Year

For New Year's Eve I slow cooked a ham in pineapple juice. Which meant I had a large can's worth of crushed pineapple sitting in the fridge. What to do? (What do you think?) I found the following recipe on Pantry Eats and added a little extra pineapple and didn't crush the pears.

Today's jam is Pineapple-Pear Jam:
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
4 pears, chopped
1.5 T. lemon juice
4.5 c. sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

Mix it all together the usual way. I got 7 half-pint jars out of it. It smells really tropical; I almost put some coconut in it but I thought that might be too much...