Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is it bedtime yet?

I got some chicken on sale Tuesday when in town. I meant to divide it into bags and freeze it, but I didn't get to it right away. So I decided to can it instead!

It's pretty easy. You can partially cook it, stuff it in the jars and pour hot broth over it. Or you can pack it in raw, without any broth. Either way, process in a pressure canner for forever, and then enjoy looking at chicken in glass jars just waiting to be used!

Problem is, I didn't get to start until around 7:00! My friend Amanda wants to make some pajama pants for her girls for Christmas, but doesn't feel very confident at sewing. We are basically trading babysitting hours for sewing hours. I am quite a bit faster than her, and was able to whip out 3 pairs of pants today. That's with tracing patterns, cutting fabric, taking Nathan to school, holding her baby while Amanda went visiting teaching so that the baby would go back to sleep, getting Nathan from school, making and eating lunch. Whew! So I didn't get started on the chicken until dinnertime.

To can it safely, you pack the food into hot jars. Place them in the canner so they don't touch. Get the water in the canner boiling and seal the lid. You have to keep it at a high boil until it reaches a certain amount of pressure, in my case, 12 pounds. Once you hit that, you have to keep it there for a certain amount of time. For pint jars of chicken, it's 75 minutes. After processing you turn off the heat and let the canner sit until the lock pops back down and you can open the canner. Carefully take out the jars, with the liquid inside still boiling because it got that hot inside the canner, and place on towels.

So the process takes quite a while. The heat is off now, and I am just waiting for the lock to pop down. I want to take them out before I go to bed, for safety reasons. I very much could have gone to bed at 8:30, like Mark did, because last night was awful. William took a nap yesterday and so he stayed up for forever last night. A little past midnight he was finally tired enough to only cry for a couple minutes when I tried for the 4th time to put him down for bed. I wake up at 6:30 to get a shower in before I start the day with the kids, so it was a very short night. I was so scared when he passed out on the floor this afternoon and slept for nearly 3 hours, but we were able to get him down to sleep about 9:30. I would have jumped for joy, but I was too tired. *yawn*

Update on the cats- Mittens thinks Jade is her new mommy. Jade doesn't really care, so long as Mittens stays put for her grooming. In fact, Mittens was trying to nurse on Jade, and Jade was just like "Whatever... I'll just lick your head until you quit." Jade hasn't been nearly so clingy, jumping up on my lap anytime I sit down. I think she was bored and lonely, so I am very glad we got the new kitten. Of course, they play all night so they sleep all day. I don't see them much. But they eat out of the same food dish, and use the same litter box. I guess you could say that Jade really doesn't mind the newcomer? :-)

6 comments:

Farrell Family said...

Your kittens sound cute. I'm glad they get along now.
Good luck getting to bed!

Melinda said...

I wish I had the know-how and patience for canning chicken! Thanks for the tips. hope you got to bed sometime, and that the kids all slept so you could!

Stephanie said...

I want to try canning meat - it makes such great food storage! But I would want to do it only if we can get a lot of meat at a great price, so we just stick with the store bought canned stuff for now. And thanks for the heads-up - if I ever do can meat, I'll do it during the day!

Kathy said...

That's great you were able to get lots of chicken canned. I always buy the biggest turkey I can find at Thanksgiving - cook it and serve a meal to the family, then take all the rest off the bones and can it. I love having jars of chicken/turkey ready to use!

Michelle said...

I didn't even think to do turkey! I usually buy big ones because I love the leftover meat. I think this year I will content myself with a few leftovers and can the rest!

Calista said...

I love canning chicken! It's one of the easiest things to do, and it makes it SOOOOO very easy to use later. I hope you got to go to bed at a somewhat reasonable time...