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20150611_217Soungs crazy right? They SAY you can’t do it ‘safely’. But I am hear to say that YES YOU CAN can hard boiled eggs and pickled eggs….Let me dispell the epic myth about canning eggs. The USDA has only this to say: it has not been proven safe to do so. All that really means is that they haven’t taken the time to test it!!! But in FACT people have been doing this for generations and I have yet to find a single case of samonella or botulism related to home canned hard boiled eggs!!!

Anyway, on with the good news:

Hmmm…yes YOU CAN can hard boiled eggs! It is rather simple too as long as you have water bath canning supplies!
Note: this method is best used only for quarts and use the regular mouth size (this aids in keeping the eggs in the brine solution.

As always, be sure to follow proper canning instructions to get your jars and lids ready. Remember! The Ball canning lids only need to be washed now. DONOT and I repeat, DONOT bring to a simmer anymore, otherwise you might experience lids seal failure.

Now for the fun part.

Hard Boiled Eggs:

Get you jars going along with your water bath canner.

Get your eggs together and bring to a ‘soft’ hard boiled status.
Personally I like to use FRESH eggs that I pick up at the local Farmers Market
Peel them, rinse well, set aside.
You will only want to use eggs that are intact, no cracked eggs! Tiny nicks are okay.

I get about 10 regular eggs into one quart jar.


Your liquid will be a simple brine solution:

I use a 25% salt (either canning or non-iodized salt) solution with about 50% sugar. So your ratio will be 1 cup salt, 2 cups sugar to 4 cups water. This amount will be enough to do about 3 quarts. Bring to a boil enough to dissolve the salt and sugar. You will want to keep an eye on this so you don’t burn the solution. Stir as needed.

Once the liquid brine solution is ready get your hot jars out of the oven (this is how I keep my jars hot, 250 degree oven on a cookie sheet) and place about 10 soft boiled eggs in each jar. You do not want to have the eggs go above the first ring on the neck.

After getting all eggs into the jars ladle your brine solution into each jar. You will want to leave about a ½ inch head space.


Wipe the rim with a rag to remove any salt/sugar solution.
Place lids on and then the rings tightening to finger tight.
Place your jars into the water bath canner and bring back to a boil.
Place lid of water bath canner on.


Processing time is as follows:
For those living under 1,000 feet in elevation process for 25 minutes.
For those living between 1,000 and 2,000 feet in elevation process for 30 minutes
Once you have processed them then take them out and cover as you would normally any other home canned fare.

These eggs will turn a slight tan color but that is OKAY!

The night before using I recommend taking them out of the jar and soaking in cold water to dry the salt out. But its not really necessary. Just remember that anything you add these eggs to (they can be used in any dish requiring cooked eggs or eaten just like they are if you are brave!) you won’t need to add SALT to!
Pickled eggs you will do the same steps, but instead of salt you will/can use your favorite pickled egg solution!


The Crazy Canners


Italian Style In a Jar

In a previous life I was with a true blooded Italian boy (yes, in this lifetime and yes I deliberately use the term boy and not ‘man’ ). He loved to eat Italian food and for the life of me I can’t remember what specific meal he wanted but this is what it morphed into that can either be served as a ‘soup’ or a ‘topping’. Everyone who has ever eaten this always comes back for more so I thought I would can it. Now of course you can’t can pasta (at least not that I know, if you do, please let me know!) but this is the basis for my Italian style dish.

For good eats you will either make it into a soup by putting the canned mix into a beef broth base and adding pasta and cooking (about 2 cups of pasta…

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I like to play around with my canning. I often find great deals on meat at the grocery store and given how expensive meat has become I will pick up every reduced priced piece of meat they have. But what I have run into is a complete lack of canning recipes for ‘meals’. Yes, there are soups out there and your traditional ‘how to can meat’ but a meal? Not much so I have turned to traditional meals and other types of recipes from old cook books and have found that I can can most of it so that all I have to do is add rice or pasta or something else for a fast and delicious meal.

We like Chinese food, especially sweet and sour chicken but it can be time consuming to make it for dinner and I thought: ‘why not pressure can it?’ so we can heat and eat. It is super easy to do and tastes delicious over rice.
The following recipe is enough for 7 quarts which is about 2-3 people over rice.

Get all your supplies ready. 7 quart jars, lids, pressure canner, etc. PLEASE! Remember that the new Ball Canning Lids do NOT get boiled any more. Simply wash and get them ‘warm’. I like to put them in a pan and turn my stove on the ‘melt’ setting. If you boil the new lids you might just find out down the road that they won’t stay sealed.

What you will need for the recipe:
5 lbs of raw chicken thigh meat (or breast if that is what you have)
2 lbs of shredded carrots
1 large can of crushed pineapple
3 small cans of water chestnuts
2 medium onions
2 Cans of corn
Sweet and Sour Sauce (make your own or if you want you can buy a jar of it)

Remember, a recipe is but a suggestion! Add or subtract to your taste.

First, cut up your raw chicken into bite sized chunks. Place into large container (I tend to use my water bath canner for mixing up large batches of food).
Chop up to your taste the onions and add to the chicken.
Add your shredded carrots

Next, get your sweet and sour broth going. I use a 4 quart sauce pan and typically will put 3 quarts of water into it and then add whatever flavoring I will use. I got lucky and found a bunch of pre-made sauces and marinades for 99 cents each. A few were sweet and sour marinades. So I added 2 12 ounce bottles to the 3 quarts of water and stirred well and brought to a boil and then turned down to a simmer while I finished up the food part.

Drain your crushed pineapple into the simmering sweet and sour water.
Drain your water chestnuts into the simmering sweet and sour water.
Drain your corn into the simmering sweet and sour water.

Next, dump your crushed pineapple and water chestnuts in with the carrots, chicken and onions. Mix well.

Now you are ready to can.

Evenly distribute your chicken mix into the 7 jars.
Pour your sweet and sour broth to about ½ inch head space.
Stir using a knife to get out air pockets and bubbles. Add more broth if necessary.
Clean the lip of jar with vinegar.
Place lids and rings on.
Put jars into canner as usual and you know what to do next.

Processing time is 70 minutes at 10 lbs pressure. And YES that is more than adequate to get the chicken thoroughly cooked!
Allow to cool as usual.

To use:
Simply open jar and heat up while you are cooking your rice! Put over rice and enjoy!

Have fun canning!

PS I will add a picture of the product shortly!

Jerky…a staple of those who hunt, camp, hike or just enjoy being able to eat a high protein snack without cooking. I have been making jerky for about 20 some odd years now and want to share a few ‘secrets’ to making it. You can make jerky out of ANY type of meat, including fish, deer, beef and chicken.

I personally got started making jerky when I was blessed with A LOT of venison/deer meat and had no idea how to cook it. After several not so good attempts at making normal meals out of the venison my hunter friend mentioned how much he liked jerky and asked if I could make that for him. And that is how I got into the jerky making business. It’s fun, easy and tasty and it doesn’t matter much what you are trying to use. For purposes of this article I will be speaking about making chicken and beef jerky.

First things first, people almost always ‘question’ homemade jerky and freak out about the safety of eating it (after all its NOT cooked) and how long you can keep it safely. If you do it right neither of these two things will matter. I have eaten my own personal jerky that was over 3 years old…no problems!!! But it usually doesn’t last that long. So, without further ado let’s get making jerky!

What you will need:
Your protein source (, beef, chicken, deer, whatever!)
Salt (or high sodium content marinating sauce)
Seasonings of choice (if making your own)

For simplicity’s sake I typically use BBQ sauce, or salad dressing or Worchester sauce…almost ANYTHING that you could use for marinating your protein.
The REAL trick is to have a high sodium content in your marinating sauce. This ‘cures’ the meat so that no nasty critters/germmies can grow. You want at least 40% of your ‘daily’ sodium allowance to be in your marinating sauce. Not hard to do really especially if you use soy sauce (which I did for this particular batch).

I used a honey mustard salad dressing (one bottle) and then ½ of one bottle of soy sauce. Just stirred together…use your imagination here. I have been known to just add table salt to increase the sodium content. Typically 1 tablespoon to 1 cup marinating sauce. I have been known to make my own ‘salad dressing’ and just add the extra salt. Don’t be afraid to have fun here to make new and interesting tastes! As a note: if you happen to decide to use venison I typically soak the slices in butter milk and salt to get the ‘game/blood’ out of the meat for about 2 days in the refrigerator. Doing it this way means needing to use less salt for the ‘marinating’ part.

Next, slice your protein into strips no more than ½ inch thick. If you have a lot of fat, trim it off. The thicker the slice, the longer it will take to dry and the longer you will have to marinate. If using chicken, the chicken breast is best for making jerky.

After slicing into thin strip simply put your meat into a ziplock baggie and put in your marinating sauce. Allow to sit for 20 minutes at a minimum in the refrigerator (or counter top). Some of my best jerky has been allowed to sit in its marinating sauce for 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator, especially if I am making large amounts.

Next lay the strips out on your dehydrator trays.

Set the heat level (if you have one) to 155 and leave alone for the next 5 hours.
After 5 hours come back and check for doneness. It should be ‘dry’ but flexible but ‘hard’ too. I have found that chicken and fish dry much faster than denser types of meat such as beef. If not done yet, check back about once an hour until it passes the flexible, dry and hard test.

Once you have the jerky ‘made’ let it sit to cool off for several hours. This is important to avoid moisture being trapped into the bag that you will place your finished jerky in.

Now there are 2 schools of thought on how to store homemade jerky. If you are going to eat it quickly, say within a couple of months, simply putting the jerky into a zip lock baggie will work and you can keep in a coolish dark place. However, if you are planning on long term storage you will want to vacuum seal it. Personally I vacuum seal a personal sized serving of the jerky and then place into 5 gallon buckets (yes, I make that MUCH!!!). One note on both methods, be sure that no pin prick holes are made in the storage bag, this allows moisture and air to get into the bag. Whenever I vacuum seal I will generally allow the sealed bags to sit over night and then reseal (double bag) any bags that have air in them, not doing so will shorten the shelf life. Or, you can just use that unsealed bag first.

Have fun! It takes just a little bit of work to make your own jerky but it tastes awesome and people will beg you for it!

Stay safe and be prepared


Homemade Sweet Saurkraut and Sausage Canned

Who doesn’t like sauerkraut? Okay, I know a few who don’t but its usually because of, well, what I shall call the ‘pucker’ factor. Its is ‘sour’ after all and most store bought kraut is very salty too. But in my quest for the ultimate, who wouldn’t like it sauerkraut I found a way to make ‘sweet’ sauerkraut and you can add whatever meat you want to it too! PLUS you can pressure can it to put up for a delicious meal or snack anytime. And as a bonus, there is no ‘waiting’ around for it to mature. Most canned sauerkraut recipes you either ferment the cabbage before canning it or are told to wait 10 days or more after canning fresh cabbage to get the ‘kraut’. But this, is instant and yummy.

What you will need:
Canning Jars (7 quart or 14 pint)
Canning salt
Apple Cider Vinegar
6 lbs Cabbage (or there abouts)
Meat of your choice (sausage, polish sausage, hamburger, etc.)
Boiling water.

The first matter at hand will be to get your canning supplies ready. Following the ‘new’ manufacturer’s directions. Simply run the jars and lids and seals through the dishwasher. Put the jars on cookie pan and place into 250 degree oven.
Lids/seals/rings go into a pot of water and are brought right up to a boil and then taken off and put aside. Get your pressure canner water going at this time too.

Next you will want to process your fresh cabbage. Peel off the 2 outer most leaves and then wash the outside of the cabbage. Next cut up the cabbage into bite size pieces (however you like, shredded, pieces). Place in a bowl to the side.

Cook your meat. In my case I just browned the sausage in a pan. But how you cook your meat will depend upon what type of meat you use.

Once you have both the cabbage and meat ready you will then combine into a large bowl and mix well.

At this point, bring a kettle of water to boil, you will add this to the packed jars of cabbage/meat.

Pack your cabbage/meat mixture into your jars leaving about1 inch head space.

Then add to each jar:
½ tsp canning salt

If you are using PINTS then add:
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of sugar

If you are using QUARTZ then double the amount of vinegar and sugar.

You will then fill each jar with the boil water leaving at least ½ inch of head space.
Clean the rim using vinegar and then proceed as you usually would placing lids and rings on each jar.

Place the jars into the canner. Allow to come back up to a boil and then process as you would with any normal canning.
Pints: 55 minutes at 10 lbs.
Quarts: 75 minutes at 10 lbs.

After processing you once again follow normal canning procedures. Allow the pressure to come down before removing the top. Place on a towel and cover allowing to cool overnight. Wash the jars before putting up.

You can eat at will and its yummy!

Give it a try and share…


responsibilityOkay, hold on to your hat cause what I am about to talk about might just hit home and make you squirm and most likely make you mad.
Can we talk? I mean really and truly have an eye opening discussion about what is really going on in this country? I am not speaking about the Ebola doctor and nurse that ran around possibly harming other people knowing full well they would most likely get sick, nor illegal immigration, 2nd Amendment gun rights, militarization of the police, discrimination of any sort, and not even what is going on down in Ferguson, Missouri…these and so many other ‘happenings’, shall I call them distractions?
These are merely outcomes of personal IRRESPONSIBILTY and abdication of personal responsibility. And they are just that…distractions as to the truth of what is going on in the United States and heck, across the global if you really want to get down to it. Its like a slimy mold that grows and grows…
So lets talk about personal responsibility.
Yeah, you read that right, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Some of you might have an understanding about what that phrase means, but for those that don’t I will give a real simple explanation as to what that means. It means that YOU are responsible for YOU. What you do, what you say, how you behave. The choices and decisions you make or for that matter, what you don’t do, what you don’t say, what choice you choose NOT to make or what decision you choose not to make. And they all IMPACT OTHERS…NOT JUST YOU.

The dictionary says responsibility is:
the state of being the person who caused something to happen
a duty or task that you are required or expected to do
something that you should do because it is morally right, legally required, etc.

So this begs the question what does RESPONSIBLE mean?
having the job or duty of dealing with or taking care of something or someone
able to be trusted to do what is right or to do the things that are expected or required
involving important duties, decisions, etc., that you are trusted to do

Got it now? Hmm, could personal responsibility be seen as, horrors, being a mature adult? As I see it, too many people in this country have turned over their personal responsibility to others and mainly that is at this point in time, the government or some other state sponsored ‘authority’ .instead of personally taking charge of their own life and making their own informed decisions that guide their actions. With the knowledge inside that its not just about THEM (read that yourself).

Oh, we love to pretend that we are ‘responsible’ but I would beg to differ. How many times have you just gone with the flow? Or instead of spending the time to research something for the real facts you just accept what ‘they’ say as the gospel. Or better yet, when YOU figure out you don’t like what has happened you get angry or feel betrayed because it doesn’t fit the narrative that has been fed to you? OR forbid, say screw it, knowing better and put yourself and others at risk and then have the nerve to say ‘but’…the very word ‘but’ throws out personal responsibility…so… Say it all together now…lets play victim.
See, being personally responsible for yourself means that when you screw up, you own up and try to make it right. When you hurt someone else, you don’t point the finger at someone else. When something bad happens you don’t go looking to place blame, but stand back to see the bigger picture and the role YOU play in that picture. There is a sayin’ ‘if you aren’t a part of the solution then you are part of the problem’. You don’t go looking to Big Brother or your mommy for a handout to bail you out of YOUR MISTAKES. You don’t go around blaming others for what happened or where you are in life. There are too many people who have OVERCOME really bad things and came out on top for me to buy into that one. You get real, not emotional and then accept facts and get going. People who are personally responsible for themselves don’t get stuck in the emotions of the moment. They go through the emotions and then get REAL.
Yeah, things happen and we all find ourselves in circumstances where we need help because we figuratively shot ourselves in the foot, or someone else decided to do something that had an impact on/in our life, but personal responsibility dictates that you ask for help and then get moving on your own again ASAP. Or you just pick yourself up and get moving again. And if something ‘bad’ happens to someone you know, you step back and take a look at their own actions, instead of immediately assigning responsibility to someone else no matter how unattractive or distasteful it maybe. That is called RESPONSIBLE thought. Personal responsibility means that you see things for what they are and not through some lens of victimhood.
And while you’re at it, quit your whining too. Life ain’t FAIR, crap happens and we aren’t all the same, won’t get the same. That is NOT how it works no matter what they want you to believe. The infamous ‘they’ have taught us that its someone else’s JOB to do this, that or the other for us instead of allowing people to fail or succeed. Each according to their own comes to mind. Instead of allowing people to rise above their mistakes, own their mistakes and deal with their own choices, decisions and actions. Its called being accountable, dealing with the consequences of your choices, decisions and actions. When you won’t control yourself, others WILL.
Shall I give a list? War on Drugs, War on Poverty, War on Terrorism, heck, lets thrown in the War on Women…and how has things worked out for Chicago and New York with gun violence? You get my point.
It means being responsible for YOURSELF, YOUR CHOICES, YOUR DECISIONS, YOUR ACTIONS AND THEN DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR YOURSELF AND OTHERS. You aren’t an island…get over yourself. And no one is GOD, until someone hands over their own personal responsibility. Everything you do sends out ripples and affects other people. And when YOU decide to stop having personal responsibility there is the very real danger that not only you will pay the price, but many others will too. And THAT my friends, is when you open the door to being subject to OTHER PEOPLE’S decisions and dominion. You eventually even loose your ability to make your decisions and choices. Keep on not taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and someone will fill in for you.
I am just as guilty as the next guy for playing the blame game, the whine game and finger pointing, but ultimately YOU and I are the only ones who have dominion over ourselves and once you get THAT figured out, then you truly begin to understand what it means to be personally responsible for YOURSELF. When you stop abdicating YOUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO OTHERS that is when you are set FREE. When you teach your children about personal responsibility, accountability and consequences then you and your children are no longer a slave to the ‘they’.
Understand, we are all individuals but when we do not take personal responsibility then others suffer, we suffer and we have no one to blame but ourselves. After all, someone has to do the job right?