So this week, I learned a bit more with canning. While we were pickling beets on Friday, Rick and I had our first jar break. And our second.
We had about two hours before we had to leave to be at his family’s home for a party, so we (I) decided to get the beets finished. Right as we were putting the filled jars into the pot to process, one of my quart jars cracked open, the whole bottom came off and beets and pickling brine filled the pot. So I dumped the pot, refilled it and set it to boil again, while Rick called and said we were going to be late.
You know the saying, a watched pot never boils. And it truly felt that way. But once it was going again, we put in all the jars, brought it back to a rolling boil and set the timer. Well about ten minutes into the processing, I noticed that there wasn’t much steam coming from the pot. I lifted the lid to see what was going on, and saw that another jar had broken. :( We didn’t dump it all out this time, we just got it back to boiling and processed the rest of the jars in beet pickle water.
In all we lost a quart and a half of the gorgeous beets I’d been hording for this batch. And we were an hour late to the party. We’re still not totally sure why those jars broke, but they were jars that I had bought second hand. I don’t know if that had something to do with it or not, because I looked at all the jars closely before I bought them. But if that was the reason, I don’t know if it was worth the savings on the used jars.
Plant Something – none
Harvest Something– mint, the last cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggs, chard
Preserve Something – Froze tomatoes, watermelon rind pickles, carrots, concord grape jam (thanks to the Carlsons), pickled beets, beans.
Waste Not – Made a mei tai baby sling all by myself! This cost me about $20 instead of 80 for one from the store! So far I love it! I’ll post pictures and more on this later this week.
Want Not/Prep & Storage – made a lot of progress on the food log. When I get this complete, I will post for you to check out.
Build Community Food Systems – Went to a Meetup about composting. It was through DUG (Denver Urban Gardeners), and we learned a lot. We also got to share a little info about our chickens, and we met another young couple in our neighborhood who are doing some of the same things we are.
Eat the Food – One Pot Chicken Cacciatore (adapted from Glorious One Pot Meals)
1 large onion, sliced in wedges
1 1/2 cups pasta
3/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup water
Oregano, salt, pepper, marjoram, & savory to taste
4 pieces of chicken (we like to use thighs)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small yellow squash, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 bell peppers (any color), sliced
2 large, juicy tomatoes (or (1) 14oz can of tomatoes), chopped
2 TBS capers
Preheat oven to 425. Spray inside and lid of dutch oven with olive oil. Put sliced onion and pasta in the bottom of the pot. Combine water and white wine, and pour half over the pasta and onions. Put in chicken thighs, and season with salt and pepper well. Sprinkle in oregano, marjoram and savory (I’m guessing here, but maybe 1/2 tsp each, dried?). Layer in garlic, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes with juice. Sprinkle capers on top, and season again with salt pepper, oregano and marjoram. Pour remaining wine/water mixture over the top. Cover with lid and bake for about an hour. Check chicken for done-ness, and finish baking if needed. (this always take me longer than I will think, because I always pack the pot full of veggies).