Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Canning Stew

I made beef stew over the weekend. The recipe, while very good, stated it would make about 7 quarts. I got 7 quarts plus 8 pints plus Sunday dinner plus another night's dinner. It looks wonderful, and I'm looking forward to having some for dinner on a night I don't want to cook. On the other hand I wasn't planning on canning two days straight - the pressure canner takes a bit. For the pints, they are processed for 75 minutes. At 2.15 the lid went on the canner. At 4.50 I took the canner off the heat to lose pressure, and at 5.30 I put the cans out to cool overnight. One batch, not counting what I did before the lid went on, has taken just over 3 hours. Now that I've timed it, I can add 2 hours + prep to the processing time, and use that to plan the day better.

Moral: Prep everything, and start early.

ETA: While making the pickles, I was forcibly reminded to fully read the directions & double check I have all the ingredients & enough jars before starting. Guess who ran out at the last second for jars, spices, & pickling salt?

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