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05 September 2019  

Food Preservation 2—canning

Canning is a food preservation method invented in 1809 in France. The French government, involved in the long struggle of the Napoleonic wars, needed to be able to provide food to its’ troops. It turned out to be widely useful in saving food while keeping some of its’ taste and texture. Carefully done, it can keep food safe for years. Home canning may not last that long, a year is generally the limit. One thing to watch out for is Botulism. This is caused by a bacterium that thrives in an airless environment, especially if it is also low acid. Botulism is killed at normal boiling temperatures but If in doubt throw it out!

There are two types of canning, water bath and pressure. Pressure canning requires a large and expensive pressure cooker, but can be used to can many different types of food, including meat and low acid fruits and vegetables. Water bath canning requires only a large pot with a lid, a rack which will fit in the bottom of the pot, and a pair of tongs. 

Water bath canning can only be used in high sugar preparations, like jams and jellies or fruits in syrup, or with high acid items such as tomatoes and pickles. My introduction to canning was through assisting my mother to make elderberry jelly and Potsfield Pickle. Back in those days she didn’t use jar lids and water bath, just sterilized the jars and poured some paraffin over the top. However before long we found that there was less spoilage and better jar sealing by using a water bath. I do adjust the timing of the water bath process here at high altitude, and use a pot with a lid. I add about 10 minutes to the boiling time and keep a lid on. 

Pressure canning is less common now that freezers are more common, but it can still be valuable if you want preserved foods which will remain shelf stable for a long time without electricity. By the way—don’t try using your Instant Pot for pressure canning. It is too small and the temperatures inside are not consistent enough.

Water bath canning is far more common today. Here are some web sites that give complete directions:    https://www.pickyourown.org/water_bath_canning_directions.php   and  https://www.thespruceeats.com/guide-to-water-bath-canning-1327461

An excellent place to start is making a fruit jam. In a jam you need to be sure to use the recommended amount of sugar, as the sugar acts as a preservative. If you want to use less sugar or an artificial sweetener try a “freezer jam”. Or you could make in batches small enough to refrigerate and use within a few weeks.

Pectin is the thing that gives jams and jellies the right texture and keeps them from being runny. Apples have a lot of natural pectin, so they get a good jammy texture without adding any other jelling ingredient. Sure Jell and other pectin products come with directions and you need to follow them pretty carefully to get a good result.

Here is a good basic recipe.

Mixed Fruit Jam

Pickles are another easy thing to make and can yourself. Try This. If you’re not so worried about crunchiness skip the calcium carbonate.

Bread and Butter Pickles

SPECIAL SALES THIS WEEK

Fry’s—has very many digital coupons. This week, for every digital coupon used, Fry’s will donate $.10 to the Kroger Co. “Zero Hunger Zero Waste” program. There are coupons for Captain Crunch, Life and Honey Bunches of Oats for $1.99/box and also for Pop Tarts for $1.99/box.

Safeway—The Special Digital Coupon this week is for Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios for $.25/box, limit 2. Thee are several good Clip o Click Coupons, Lucerne Cheese, shred or slice, $1.67/each. Also Wishbone Salad Dressing $1.49/each.

Sprouts—There is a 72 hour sale, Fri Sat & Sun including Olathe Sweet Corn $1 for 8 ears and Dark Chocolate Walnuts $3.99/lb. Also the BOGO Sale continues including Blue Diamond Nut-Thins and Brown Cow Cream top Yogurt.

NATIONAL DAYS THIS WEEK

Sept 4—Macadamia Nut Day
Sept 5—Cheese Pizza Day
Sept 6—Coffee Ice Cream Day
Sept 7—Acorn Squash Day
Sept 9—Wiener Schnitzel Day
Sept 10—TV Dinner Day

SUGGESTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER MEALS ( * = find recipe or video below)

Main Dishes

Wiener Schnitzel *
Pan Broiled Pork Chips
Baked Honey Chicken Tenders *
Grilled Hamburgers
Creamy Mushroom Chicken Pasta *
Cheese Pizza (from your favorite pizza Place or Frozen)
Instant Pot Beef Stew/Soup *
T.V. Dinners 

Salads and Sides

Iceberg Wedges with Blue Cheese Dressing *
Green Salad
Apple Grape Salad *
Fruit Salad
Spaetzle *
Dirty Rice *
Baked Acorn Squash *
Crusty Bread
Sweet Corn
Steamed Cauliflower

Desserts

Ice Cream Sundaes
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars *
Treats from the Bakery
Fruit and Cheese Plate
Nutella Mousse *

VIDEOS

Wiener Schnitzel

Only it should be made from veal, currently unavailable. Use pork cutlets instead.

Baked Honey Chicken Tenders

Quick and Easy

Creamy Garlic Chicken Mushroom Pasta

Instant Pot Beef Stew/Soup

Texture looks pretty soupy to me, but nothing wrong with beef soup. 

Iceberg Wedge Salad

Use plenty of bacon, and some chunks of ripe avocado

Apple Grape Salad

Maybe add some avocado and/or some toasted sliced almonds.

Spaetzle (good with Weiner Schnitzle)

Baked Acorn Squash

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Nutella Mousse

ITEMS ON SALE THIS WEEK

Meat

Ground Beef—$1.97/lb @Safeway. $3.99/lb @Sprouts, Grass Fed. $10.47/3 lb chub @Fry’s.
Beef Roasts—$2.97/lb @Safeway, boneless, chuck, cross rib, bottom round, sirloin tip. $5.99/lb, @Sprouts, boneless rump. 
Chicken, B/S—$1.47/lb @Safeway, breasts, at full service counter. $1.99/lb @Sprouts, tenders or thighs.
Chicken, bone in—$.87/lb @Fry’s, drums, tight, leg quarters, split breast.
Sausages—$2/pkg @Fry’s, Kroger Brats or Italian.
Pork Tenderloins—BOGO @Fry’s
Pork Chops—$1.47/lb @Safeway, bone in, assorted loin, shoulder steaks, country ribs. $2.99/lb @Sprouts, bone in, various rib and loin chops.

Fruits and Vegetables

Grapes—$.69/lb @Sprouts, green. $.77/lb @Fry’s, red, black. $1.99/lb @Safeway. green, red
Watermelon—$2.98/each @Sprouts, whole seedless.  $5/each @Safeway, large, seeded or seedless.
Navel Oranges or Minneolas—$.89/lb @Fry’s
Mandarins(cuties)—$1.98/2 lb bag @Sprouts, 72 hr sale
Cantaloupe—$2/each @Sprouts (O)
Blueberries—$1.25/6 oz box @Sprouts. $3.99/18 oz box @Fry’s. 
Apples, Gala—$.99/lb @Fry’s. $1.50/lb @Sprouts (O)
Pears—$1.50/lb @Sprouts, Bartlett or Red, (O). $.99/lb @Fry’s, Bartlett
Bananas $.39/lb @Safeway
Greens—$.99/head @Safeway, Iceberg Heads
Avocados—$.98/each @Sprouts
Tomatoes—$.98/lb @Sprouts, Hothouse, $1.88/lb @Sprouts, on-the-vine (O) $.99/lb @Safeway, Roma. $2/box @Fry’s, grape (O)
Bell Peppers—$.77/each @Fry’s, red, yellow, orange. $.50/1 @Safeway, green. $.98/each @Sprouts, (O)
Cucumbers—$.77/each @Fry’s, english
Cauliflower—$.98/lb @Sprouts.  $.99/lb @Safeway.
Broccoli—$.99/sb @Safeway, Crowns
Onions—$.99/lb @Safeway, yellow
Squash—$.98/lb @Sprouts, Italian, yellow

Other Good Bargains

Pasta—BOGO @Sprouts, Explore Cuisine or Montebello (O)
Cheese—$3.99/lb @Sprouts, Colby/Jack, fresh cut, random weights at deli cooler.
Cinnamon Rolls—$1/4 ct box @Safeway
Oroweat Bread—$2.99/each @Safeway, Potato, Oatnut, or Sara Lee Artisano Rolls, Clip or Click Coupon
Laundry Detergent—$2.99/32-40 fl oz bottle @Fry’s
Yogurt—$8/10 cups @Fry’s, Chobani, Greek, with Digital Coupon