Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Canning

Nope, not pumpkin.  But I did toast pumpkin seeds today...

The 6 year old was not feeling well so stayed home from school.  Which meant I got to stay home, too!  I set to work on a double batch of baked beans.  I had purchased the ingredients before the weekend, hoping I would have time to cook it all up then, but with all the other stuff I did, I couldn't get to it.  Today was perfect.

Since we weren't using the beans as dinner, I was able to put up the whole double batch:  8 pints in the pressure canner for 80 minutes.  They're about to come out, now.  I don't think it matters which recipe you use; I use the one in my Pillsbury cookbook which I've had for ages.  The cookbook is so old I had to transfer it to a new 3-ring binder when its original cover fell apart.  It has great, basic, simple recipes for great, basic, simple food.  It's one of the best.  And, considering that if I do takeout or even the cafeteria for dinner at work, I spend at least $5-10 each time, I think 8 meals of baked beans is a bargain.  I'm quite sure I didn't spend more than $10 on the ingredients!

Now I'm making a double batch of chili, some spicy and some not.  We will have some for dinner tonight (with grated cheddar or with the homemade mascarpone instead of sour cream) and I will either freeze or can the rest.  Since the pressure canner is out, it wouldn't be too big of an ordeal, just time consuming.

Tonight's chili recipe:
4 small onions, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 pounds ground beef
1 quart tomato sauce
1/2 large bottle of chili powder
1 can tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste
2 packages kidney beans, quick-soaked
1 can (large) whole tomatoes in liquid
2 tbsp. pickled jalapenos (added to the spicy version only, obviously)

2 hours until trick-or-treating!  I LOVE Halloween!

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